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James Fox Higgins

james

1975

Quick Brown Fox Music

The artwork proclaims ‘stereo recording, 33 ½ R.P.M’, and divides the tracks into Side A and Side B. The title track is called, in full, 1975 (Wish I Was There). The opening 15 seconds is the crackle of a needle being placed on a record. You get the idea; this is an exercise in nostalgia.

The nostalgia here is for frothy disco, and how much you enjoy the album depends on how much of that nostalgia you share; Higgins displays no interest in altering the formula. Soul Train sounds like an airbrushed Off The Wall outtake, while the jazzy take on A Change Is Gonna Come scrubs away every iota of gravitas and dignity.

It’s all too clean, too relentlessly competent – he attacks his material with all the passion of a polished wedding band. The strongest moment inevitably comes when the session pros step away and we are left with just a strong voice and a piano on Brother, There’s Still Time. The preposterously titled closer Voodoolicious sum it up – its funk should explode, but ends up sounding like someone having a decent party two doors down.

 

CHARLIE LEWIS

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