Peabo Bryson ‘Stand for Love’ LP/CD (Perspective/Caroline) 3/5

With some considerable waiting on my behalf, for the arrival of the vinyl, it is clear the vast majority of you have been getting off on this superb modern soul album for some while having purchased the CD, so I am running a little behind, so to speak. So to the music. Side A has floored me with some superb dancers, opening up with the bass-heavy “All She Wants To Do Is Me”, which should have been rocking dance floors across the globe, as he sounds on fine form and as we have grown accustomed to hearing, with the title track being the big track for me; a string laden kitchen sink drama, a crossover monster which once again will cement the sales of this album as this is what soul radio and its devotees crave. The production duties have been carried by those legends, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, highlighted on the down-tempo tracks. Give “Love Like Yours and Mine” a blast as this could have appeared on a myriad of albums over the past ten years which shows he still has the vocal prowess of old, it’s timeless. The stripped down “Looking for Sadie” took a couple of plays but it was worth the commitment and the strolling “Goosebumps Never Lie”, finishes side one in fine form – a stunning return for Peobo since his “Missing You” album all those years back.

Flipping the vinyl over for Side B brings us in to ballad heaven, the best of which, “Here For You”, comes complete with gritty production. The album has some real ups and downs but the inclusion of a ‘live’ recorded medley of his previous hits, is completely off-kilter although I can understand why it’s on here with such a long gap in releases from Mr Bryson. Side A appears to be dominated with writing skills by James Harris III and there appears to be an array of players in on the act, at times bringing something to the table. Musically, at times, the album is a real treat, a recommended release with side A dominating, and a very worthy release to add to the output of a man who has given us an array of, simply, quite superb tuneage over the years. Just one gripe; the Digi-Card included within didn’t work for me – “the folder couldn’t be found”!

Brian Goucher