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Joe Simon - Drowning In The Sea Of Love (Soul)

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Code - OD-K-97086


1. Drowning In The Sea Of Love
2. Glad To Be Your Lover
3. Something You Can Do Today
4. I Found My Dad
5. The Mirror Don't Lie
6. Ole Night Owl
7. You Are Everything
8. If
9. Let Me Be The One
10. Pool Of Bad Luck

Joe Simon is one of those enigmatic soul artists who, unlike so many great artists of the 60s and 70s, has never had his revivalist comeuppance. In his impressive career, Simon began by crooning honey-touched ballads, went on to help establish the genre of country-soul (and remains one of the few true, great country-soul singers), segued over into R&B, and then saw his career descend too quickly after a groundbreaking (but ill-fated) movement to disco.
"Drowning in the Sea of Love" was Simon's most cohesive album, though still very eclectic in presentation. The title track was pure Philly sound, an early Gamble-Huff production that paid off with a #3 spot on the Billboard R&B charts. "I Found My Dad" is an interesting deaprture from the rest of the album, and it remains catchy and rousing (even if a bit cheesy). "Pool of Bad Luck" continues the quintessential funky groove, and on "If", Simon's plaintive baritone soars. However, my personal favorite track is Simon's cover of the Stylistics' (smash from the year before) "You Are Everything". Simon's version features a dramatically different arrangement, and what you are left with is the song stripped bare, and Simon's voice, low and contained early on, building to an eruption of longing and passion. The song is imbued with such feeling that I cannot listen to it without getting caught up. And let's just say I've listened to it many, many times...

If you want to experience a broader cross-section of Simon's catalogue, I would suggest Rhino's very well compiled "Music In My Bones: The Best of Joe Simon". But if you want to hear an solid album by one of the best (and sadly overlooked) R&B singers while at his peak, pick up "Drowning in the Sea of Love".


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