Eddie Kendricks – People… Hold On (1972/2016)

Eddie Kendricks - People... Hold On (1972/2016)
Artist: Eddie Kendricks
Album: People… Hold On
Genre: Soul, Funk
Label: Elemental
Released: 1972/2016
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)
Tracklist:
If You Let Me
Let Me Run into Your Lonely Heart
Day by Day
Girl You Need a Change of Mind
Someday We’ll Have a Better World
My People…Hold On
Date with the Rain
Eddie’s Love
I’m on the Sideline
Just Memories

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For his second outing People…Hold On (1972), former Temptations leader Eddie Kendricks expanded his horizons, dabbling with communally conscious soul and making initial forays into dance music that would predate disco. As he had done for Kendricks solo debut All by Myself (1971), producer Frank Wilson contributes several tunes. Among them is “If You Let Me” that kicks off the disc with a bright groove, custom-made for the vocalists’ sanguine lead. Things get downright funky on the sanctified “Let Me Run into Your Lonely Heart.” The mercurial beat is bathed in distortion and wah-wah guitar that trades back and forth with a syncopated clavinet. All the while, Kendricks shows off his range-free tenor as he effortlessly vacillates in and out of his trademark overdrive falsetto. The sacred influence of “Day by Day” is underscored by some stellar keyboard with organ and piano runs that could just as easily have been heard in a Sunday morning prayer meeting.

The nearly eight-minute “Girl You Need a Change of Mind” is nothing short of an epic precursor to the extended four-on-the-floor numbers that would soon be christened as “disco.” In addition to providing an above average R&B groove, Kendricks’ new band — the Washington D.C.-based Young Senators — are joined by the unmistakable touch of Eddie “Bongo” Brown’s rhythmically limber congas. The record buying and radio listening public obviously agreed as the song was edited and issued on a 45 rpm that made it to the Top 15 R&B Singles survey. Returning to the project’s thematic motif, “Someday We’ll Have a Better World” is a midtempo optimistic number with a plea for a more peaceful co-existence. It even goes so far as to directly reference the violence — presumably domestic as well as in Vietnam — when Kendricks pleads for a time when “…we won’t have to destroy each other” and “men can lay down their guns.” The project’s title composition “My People…Hold On” is stunning on a completely different level as the artist reconnects with his musical heritage with a languid and methodical bed over which Kendricks raps, practically begging for sanity within the socially troubled African-American community.
Review by Lindsay Planer

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