Thursday, July 11, 2013
Shalamar - The Look
This was the final album for Shalamar that featured the line-up of Jeffrey Daniel, Howard Hewett and Jody Watley. Both Daniel and Watley would leave the group in the later part of the year.
Side one opens with “Closer”, a seductively smooth mid-tempo groove.
“Dead Giveaway”, the first single, went to number 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 18 on the US Billboard Dance chart, number 10 on the US Billboard R&B chart and number 8 in the UK. The lyrics of this bouncy dance favorite tell of a guy picking up on unspoken signals from his girlfriend. I like the mix of guitars and synths on this one.
Things slow down with the next track. The ballad “You Can Count on Me”, the final single, only reached number 101 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and number 77 on the US Billboard R&B chart in 1984. Hewett’s falsetto vocals blend perfectly with Watley’s here.
“Right Here” keeps the relationship focus between the two lovers, blocking outside influences and putting in the work to keep things new and fresh.
At the heart of “No Limits (The Now Club)” is a message of unity and all-inclusiveness. It does not matter what walk of life you are from, all are welcome to get down here.
Side two begins with “Disappearing Act”; as a UK only single it charted at number 18. Watley takes the lead vocals on this smoking dance track about a love-em-and-leave-em boyfriend.
Things slow down a tad, tempo-wise, with the next track. The second single released was “Over and Over”; it went to number 26 on the US Billboard R&B chart and number 23 in the UK. I really like the strong bass line on this one.
“You’re the One for Me” keeps things on the mellower side with another song about being love.
On “You Won’t Miss Love (Until It’s Gone)”, Hewett pleads to his love to give their relationship a chance to grow.
The album closes on a strong note with the title track. “The Look” is another up-beat dance number that brings to my mind the runway of a high-fashion show. I can imagine this one was a big hit in clubs at the time.
While I was familiar with “Dead Giveaway” from its radio airplay, the rest of The Look never crossed my line of sight back in 1983. As such, I was looking forward to checking it out for this review and found a number of additional tracks to freshen up my 80’s R&B and dance playlists.
For more Shalamar, check out these links:
- For 1982’s Friends, click here.
- From two 1984 soundtracks Footloose and Beverly Hills Cop, click here and here respectively. Each features a track by Shalamar.