Gwen McCrae - Something So Right
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Gwen McCrae - Something So Right

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Miami soul songstress Gwen McCrae never scored another huge hit after 1975's "Rockin' Chair," but she did continue to make fine soul recordings through the end of the decade. One of the best of them is 1976's Something So Right. While it lacks an obvious hit single, this album is a solid, soulful showcase for McCrae's vocals. Her style retains the emotional earthiness needed to truly connect with her listeners. A good example of her style arrives with her performance on the title track, the cover of a Paul Simon classic, which balances an elegant and controlled delivery on the verses with a more emotional delivery on the chorus. She also displays a brassy sense of authority on dance-oriented numbers like "Mr. Everything" and "Iron Woman." Something So Right further benefits from Clarence Reid and Steve Alaimo's smooth production, which keeps a solid groove rolling as it sweetens the sound with yearning string arrangements. They also apply a creative touch to the album's cover versions: for instance, the classic Little Anthony doo wop tune "Tears on My Pillow" is transformed into a elegant ballad that gives McCrae room to throw in Millie Jackson-styled spoken interjections. The downside of Something So Right is that it favors track-to-track consistency over the kind of songs that would connect with a larger audience: this makes it likely that this album will remain a cult item. That said, anyone with a yen for 1970s soul will find plenty to enjoy on Something So Right.