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People Top 5
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- July 04, 1977
- Vol. 8
- No. 1
Picks and Pans Main: Song
The Bee Gees, so named for the three Brothers Gibb, have spawned a fourth, Andy, 19, whose debut solo LP coincides with the release of his older siblings' live album. Robin, Maurice and Barry Gibb sing 22 songs that divide into two sets and span two pop generations: one, their indelibly distinct '60s gems like To Love Somebody and I Can't See Nobody, the other, their bouncy but melodically denatured disco material like Jive Talkin' and You Should Be Dancing that has brought them back to life in the mid-'70s. The real star of Andy Gibb's release is the genetic code. He makes good use of progressive country tunes like Let It Be Me but sounds very much like his siblings on his too-mannered, breathy disco tunes.
The O' Jays
Unlike this R&B trio's last LP, Message in the Music, the studiously noncontroversial message here—let's be brothers, save the environment, etc.—gets lost in repetitive lyrics and overproduction. Some saving grace comes in the title cut and the handclappin' Stand Up.
Pinney, like many youthful nomads playing hinterland clubs and campuses and recording on small labels (his is Mountain Railroad), is a six-and 12-string conservationist—keeping folk music pure in this era of big-bucks, high-gloss rock and disco. This debut solo LP displays a jaunty—not overwhelming—picking style, lyrical freshness and an attractively tensile country-folk voice, recalling the late Tim Buckley in his promising late-'60s work.
The silky jazz / pop arrangements of pianist Lewis are satisfying enough, but as a bonus he has recruited a little help from a friend, Stevie Wonder. Wonder takes over electric keyboards and synthesizer on two cuts, the bounciest of which, Spring High, he also wrote. Lewis' up-tempo version of Evergreen barely misses Barbra.
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