Sunday, 9 October 2016

Allman and Woman - Two the Hard Way, album review

Try It

I know this posting is in some respects too near the revelations [though hardly apocalyptic in as much as they were already firmly known] of Donald Trump's crude misogyny, this album's title resonates with a tint of a similar crude - though different sense of the word - prioritising of the sexes. The pictures too of the album cover and promo shots might confirm a sense of female objectification, but I also think as a cultural artifact of 1977 it doesn't deserve to be ignored. The troubled marriage of Allman and Cher is a story far more complicated than apparent gender politics, and in musical terms this album isn't that highly regarded it seems.

I love it for the sublime funk of opening track Move Me, all Barry White funksoul with a rock edge. Cher makes her own prominence on second I Found You, Love, taking another soul leaf out of, this time, Diane and Marvin. After this, I accept it does flatten out. There is a passable cover of You Really Got a Hold on Me, passable because such a fine song. It is a beauty and beast combination that works best when they are actually singing together rather than in separate, opposing roles where the contrast is stark. I think it does demonstrate what a fine singer Cher was at this time. Allman is at his best on In For the Night, Cher's vibrato here glorious.

I have had the vinyl for many years and this too influences my liking: Move Me having been played hundreds of times very loudly. Try it. You can keep your eyes closed if you must.

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