Friday, September 13, 2013

Tavares - Words and Music

Following their 1982 release New Directions (click here for that review), Tavares returned a year later with their twelfth and final studio album. Today we will give a listen to 1983’s Words and Music, which charted at number 208 on the US Billboard Album chart and number 48 on the US Billboard R&B chart, in celebration of its thirtieth anniversary.

Side one begins with “Ten to One”. It lays down the odds of love, backed by an up-tempo dance beat.

“Deeper In Love” keeps the party going with this expression of emotions. As the first single, it went to number 41 on the US Billboard Dance chart and number 10 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

"Caught Short" might be a bit low on cash, yet it is long on the dance groove.

"(You're) My All in All" slows things down with a devoted dedication.

Side two opens with the title track. “Words and Music”, the second single, stopped at number 29 on the US Billboard R&B chart. The lyrics compare a relationship to the perfect balance of song.

"Baby I Want You Back" bounces onto the dance floor.

Despite its boogie beat, "I Really Miss You Baby" is all about a guy who did his girl wrong, she leaves him, and then he realizes how much he needs her. It was chosen as the B-side to the first single.

The gal in "Don't Play So Hard to Get" sends out mixed signals.

"Us and Love (We Go Together)" closes things out with another slow ballad.

Of the nine songs on Words and Music, I prefer the first three on each side as they make up a very danceable party mix. Tavares clearly transitioned successful from a disco band of the 70's to the type of R&B band that was tearing up the floors in the early to mid 80's. It is a shame this was their final album; I think they definitely had a solid grasp on the R&B sounds of the new decade.

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