Robert Palmer - Pressure Drop
And so we conclude our three day long stretch of Robert Palmer reviews with this 1975 effort. Five years before the blockbuster hard rock of Riptide, Palmer was laying down the quirky yet awfully suave new wave of Clues, and now going back five years before that album brings us to Pressure Drop... and there's nary a synthesizer to be found.
Thought you were finished dealing with Hall & Oates namedrops popping up in Robert Palmer album reviews? Think again! Palmer spends a decent chunk of this album not far from the kind of Philly soul worshiping white person R&B that most certainly was Daryl and John's bag at the time. After all, this was the year of what many refer to as The Silver Album, the fourth H&O full length that steered them away from their fortunately brief hard rock fling and back towards groovier pastures. During the first two seconds of "Back In My Arms" (of which Palmer isn't asking how that feels, HINT, HINT), we are already confronted with three electric piano notes and a wonderfully syrupy string section that makes one wonder why Palmer wasn't ever granted a guest appearance on Yacht Rock. By the time the chorus hits, you'd swear that this was a great lost Abandoned Luncheonette reject.
Of course, one mustn't neglect the album's title... not just an homage to the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack, but an indicator of where Palmer's musical head was at the time, aside from living up to the classy expectations built up by the album cover. There is a title track here and it is a cover of the Toots & The Maytals classic, a reggae classic that Palmer simply wails on! The surprisingly competent handling of non-white musical stylings doesn't stop there, however. Songs like "Work To Make It Work," "Trouble," and "Fine Time" possess an impressively genuine funkiness that was likely aided considerably by the presence of Little Feat as the backing band for this album. Why didn't Daryl and John think of that one???!
In 1975, Robert Palmer wore dopeass suits and could be treated to the sight of a woman's ass were he to glance over his shoulder at any given moment in time, especially the one captured on this album cover. With enough grasp on melody to make his poppier numbers irresistible and an ability to make his attempts at grittier, funkier soul sounds come across as not totally pussyish... well, he was good at music, I guess. Maybe you can find this shit on vinyl in a dollar bin somewhere. Probably a heck of a lot more exciting than Tarkus or Grand Funk Railroad.
Download Link: "Back In My Arms"... song is sunroof top, diggin' the scene. And you will be, too.