Pressure Drop

by: Robert Palmer

Before he moved to Nassau and became a carefree, laid-back expat who craved sunshine, Robert Palmer lived in New York City, hired Little Feat for a backup band, and released the all over the place yet still solid Pressure Drop. Named after the massive reggae hit from Toots & the Maytals and the excellent cover version Palmer performs here, Pressure Drop is sometimes wrongly sold as the singer's first island-styled album. Past the title cut, Feat and the New Orleans funk of the Meters are much bigger influences, along with smooth, dated disco ballads smothered in strings. The latter numbers are what make the album too blue-eyed and polished for fans of Palmer's more gutsy moments, but the soft songs are well written and convincing, especially the opening "Give Me an Inch." Better still is the loose and feel-good funk that has long made this effort a fan favorite, with Palmer delivering full-bodied vocals over bright horns and popping basslines. Since compilations and Palmer's own live set lists increasingly ignored the album over time, Pressure Drop has grown into the great overlooked album in the man's discography, and it's much more rewarding than the unfamiliar track list displays. ~ David Jeffries

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