The Hardness of the World

by: Slave

As funky as they were, Slave had a distinctive smoothness to their music. Here on their second album, the self-contained ten-member band assembled an engaging mix of songs. This collection featured two releases. The first was "The Party Song." Arranged around a swinging funk track and chanting vocals in unison, group leader Steve Washington invokes a jazzy trumpet interlude. The single peaked on the Billboard R&B charts at number 22 after an unjust ten weeks. The second release was "Baby Sinister," also spiced with that '70s funk sound. While it has a similar arrangement to "The Party Song," it retains more use of the synthesizer. It peaked at #74 after a mere four weeks. While their vocals are not as sharp on most selections, the group compensates with their musical ability and impressive arrangements. "We Can Make Love" is the only ballad on the album, and an outstanding ballad it is. It would be a great addition to any quiet storm format. ~ Craig Lytle

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