Friday, 11 October 2019

Boz Scaggs - Fade Into Light (1996/2005)


  

Released on 19th November 1996 (Japan)
Released on 27th September 2005 (US)

Running time 54.23

For some reason, this superbly soulful, soothing album was released twice, nine years apart. Either way, it is a masterpiece of smoochy, romantic soul/AOR. Scaggs is rarely mentioned as a master of the genre, but he truly is. This appealing album is proof.

Scaggs uses many musicians on the album and the quality shines through on both their playing and the sound quality.

TRACK LISTING (US version)

1. Lowdown
2. Some Things Happen
3. Just Go
4. Love TKO
5. Fade Into Light
6. Harbor Lights
7. Lost It
8. Time
9. Sierra
10. We're All Alone
11. Simone
12. I'll Be The One                                                

Lowdown is a deliciously laid-back piece of soul/slow burning soft rock, featuring some Sade-style late night saxophone. Scaggs' vocal is appealing mellifluous and supremely soulful. Some Things Happen has an infectious, rhythmic guitar and gentle percussion intro. Once again, Scaggs is seductively attractive on his vocal and perfect for late night radio. The Lighthouse Family's vocalist had a similar voice. The backing vocals interplay with Scaggs on the chorus is sublime.

Just Go is just a wonderful, slow, romantic and sensitive number. Love TKO is a Bobby Womack song previously covered by Teddy Pendergrass which Scaggs does highly credible justice to. The soul feeling on here is peerless, as indeed is the guitar work. Fade Into Light is a classic Scaggs ballad with that distinctive We're All Alone-sounding vocal. Harbor Lights is a gentle piano-powered ballad with a real jazzy feel to it and a lovely deep stand-up bass sound. It has an excellent piano/bass/drum instrumental bit at the end.

Lost It is just beautiful - slow, romantic and sensual. Check out that heavenly organ break too. Time continues in a laid-back, vaguely Latin American acoustic guitar-driven groove. The song breaks out into a fast-paced bit of bluesy rock half way through, impressively. There is a great wah-wah guitar solo on it too. Sierra is simply delightful, airy, melodic and breezy in a very late seventies Al Stewart way. Once again, some fantastic guitar brings the track to a close.

Scaggs revisits his huge hit We're All Alone in slightly unplugged style, with just him, the piano and some subtle strings. It is simply a marvellous song and needs little further comment from me. Simone is a samba-influenced slow ballad. It is a bit Chris Rea-ish. I'll Be The One washes over you in a very laid-back, waves on the shore fashion. It utilises some contemporary r 'n' b scratching soinds on the backing, probably unnecessarily.

Stick this on as a late night album, it can't fail.

B+

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