Let me say from the outset I am not a big R&B fan. It’s just not my cup of tea. I appreciate it, love a lot of the artists in the field (if I can’t actually name many of them), but it’s just not my thang. That said, if we don’t get some more of Sam Moore this very instant somebody, shoot me! Moore is a legend after all, but he’s still got his pipes, his soul, his power…his everything! Dutifully produced by Randy Jackson (yeah that Randy Jackson) Overnight Sensation, Mr. Moore’s latest CD, is filled with classic tunes, a kick-ass band, and some of the finest modern vocals from the one and only Sam Moore.
On the CD, Moore is joined by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Travis Tritt, Paul Rodgers, Mariah Carey (as usual, warbling high notes that we could have done without…oh don’t get me started on Carey and her breast-implanted ilk!) Zucchero, to name a few. Moore has never sounded better — these younger guys and gals work just to keep up with him. For the most part, they do. Songs like the opening track, “I Can’t Stand The Rain,” “Lookin’ For A Love (with Jon Bon Jovi), and the sheer brilliance of “None of Us Are Free,” featuring Sting and Shelia E, are the standouts on this 12-song collection.
If I have any criticism it would simply be that I want more…more Sam Moore that is! The addition of Sting, Carey, and all the other big stars make this CD a solid commercial effort. Nobody can blame the powers that be with wanting to make an album that’s sells (read the inside booklet’s liner notes to get a taste of how badly the music business has treated this guy), but on many of the songs, Moore is so gracious he really lets his colleagues shine, sometime to his detriment. The only song where I feel I really hear a lot of Moore’s vocals is on “None Of Us Are Free,” where Sting is smart enough to sit back, do his thing, but most importantly not overshadow Moore when he does his thing.
Overnight Sensation, which Sam Moore certainly isn’t, is a solid, up tempo piece of work. Another item to note is that this is the last project the late Billy Preston contributed to…at least to some degree. The CD is dedicated to the only musician the Beatles ever truly let into the studio (and on stage/roof for their final live performance). In a fitting tribute, the last song on the album is the Preston (along with Bruce Fisher) penned, “You Are So Beautiful” with ol’ Eric “Slowhand” Clapton himself adding a few tasty licks. Endings don’t get any sweeter.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.