Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Terry Callier - What Color Is Love (1973)
The best soul album of the 70's.
...well, that's how I'd like to sum this review up, but being that mistah Terry Callier isn't well known even among soul enthusiasts, I'll elaborate: he, along with his more famous childhood bud Curtis Mayfield, occupied a roster on Motown for a good part of the decade. Unlike his good chum however (and in fact unlike anyone else on the label), Callier possessed a distinctly spacey yet intimate songcraft that lent itself just as easily to folk and baroque-tinged pop as it did to the bellowing James Brown theatricalia psychedelica that was expected of a legitimate soul singer.
That said, 1973's What Color Is Love serves a dual purpose amidst his output: it can be approached as a singular point where his romantic style of songwriting came together into a near perfect set of stoned soul smashers ('Candyman', 'A Song Of The Sun'), heartwrenching balladry ('Just As Long As We're In Love', the title track) and even a fine slice of epic folk-jazz ('Dancing Girl'). On the other hand, every artist hits a milestone early on that can be said to be relatively "untoppable" by all subsequent output in the ears of casual listeners: Marvin Gaye? What's Going On. Bill Withers? Just As I Am. Isaac Hayes? Hot Buttered Soul. For Callier, What Color Is Love is that sort of defining moment.
Listen Here - "Just As Long As We're In Love"