by: Heatwave

With four successful albums behind them in nearly as many years, and despite the fact that they were in the beginning throes of the bitter end of the band, Heatwave brought their fifth album, Current, to bear in 1982 and scored another Top 30 U.S. hit to boot. With producer Barry Blue again at the helm and with another clutch of Rod Temperton-penned songs behind their substantial R&B chops, Heatwave was able to add one final feather to a cap that history continues to seriously underrate. And, although the album as a whole doesn't capture the band's early, and best, intentions, it's clear that Heatwave still had a few hot shots. It is pinned down by "Lettin' It Loose," which serves up a very late-in-the-day disco with a synthesized beat and profundo bass, which brought the band into the charts for the last time in August 1982. There are several other bright moments as well, including the hit's original B-side, "Mind What You Find." The nearly instrumental "The Big Guns," meanwhile, gives great groove, while Current's closing track, "Look After Love," draws the curtain across another blue ballad. Featuring Imagination's Leee John and Ashley Ingram as guest vocalists, this song in particular emerges as one of the album's best. It's rendered even more poignant as this formidable vocal team is here only to replace the irreplaceable Johnny Wilder, paralyzed in an auto accident shortly before work began on the album. Although Current probably won't be of much interest to the casual listener, for the Heatwave aficionado this career-capper is a sweet ride through an era that spanned more than a few genres and allowed the band to flex their muscles in them all. ~ Amy Hanson

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