Friday, December 12, 2008

Rollout With Labelle

I love my geriatric girlbands (The Jacob Sisters, Las Supremas etc), so I really couldn't resist checking out Labelle's first record in over 30 years and I was not disappointed. "Back To Now" is a great comeback album with an even greater cover. Drag queens around the globe would kill for those outfits! The highly glamorous trio invite the listener on an enjoyable trip down memory lane by delivering a solid set of soulful jams. Patti, Nona and Sarah still know how to bring the funk and they're not afraid to use it! Some critics have described the album as dated but I think timeless better describes their sound. However, the majority of songs will only be of interest to fans of old school soul (like myself) with one glaring exception - the incredibly trashtastic and utterly fabulous "Rollout".

Produced by ex-Fugee Wyclef Jean, "Rollout" is an endearing attempt to drag Labelle kicking and screaming into the 21st century. This could be the best urban pop tune ever recorded by a bunch of 60+ year old women! Patti takes the lead for this empowering tale of girl granny power and kicks her useless man to the curb by declaring "Buy your own cigarettes, walk your own pets - I'm out the door"! The production on this is superb. I love the heavy groove, occasional synth and, most of all, the way Patti screams "Lay-deez!" throughout the entire song. "Rollout" was chosen as the first single but it hasn't really taken off yet. No doubt if image wasn't important and music was simply judged on its merits, this fierce jam would be burning up the charts. It really is well worth a listen, so check it out below. You can order "Back To Now" from Chaos or simply download "Rollout" from iTunes.


Jamie_movietrip said...

Well you know I love it too!

"Let me see you put your hands up, *vocodered scream* hands up! Hannddds uuuuUup!!!"

Patti throws down! Easily the best album she's done since 1991's Grammy winning Burnin' when she went all New Jack Swing and hip-pop.

The Truth Will Set You Free (lead vocals by Nona) and Superlover are my other favoutites from Back To Now. It's weird that there's been so little promotion, Patti usually gets quite a lot of TV promo in the US for her albums.

UK fans might like to know that Patti, Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick will be doing a show in London next year, tickets on sale in Feb.

Mike said...

Hell, I'd be tempted to fly back for that line-up. Patti, Dionne and Gladys = HEAVEN! I'll have to check out the date.

Tommy said...

Pity that it wasn't the big comeback that it should have been, and can probably considered a flop by now, but I actually really enjoy "Back To Now".. Even though, IMO, "Rollout" was a spectacular miscalculation as a single, and sticks out like a sore thumb on the album - damned if it isn't actually a pretty hot track on it's own.. Overall, I think the album's got some of the best stuff Patti's put her voice to in (at least four) years.

Lady Bunny had a review of one of their Apollo comeback concerts last month. Hampered by technical difficulties, it seems like a bit of a metaphor for their comeback, unfortunately..