Toots & The Maytals, Flip & Twist

Posted on June 12, 2010 by

Artist: Toots & The Maytals
Title: Flip & Twist
Label D&F Music 52722
Genre: Reggae

I love Toots and I’ll buy everything he puts out, with or without the Maytals. But this one, I have some regrets. The saddening aspect of this is that this CD could’ve been great by employing a horn section. Instead, we get a wash of outdated synth noise where the punch of brass should be. Toots still sounds great, the songs are good, sometimes better than good, but that synths just scream of budget cutting.

“Almighty Way” opens the CD with great promise. It’s a gospel driven number and Toots sounds sincere in his delivery. ┬áTrack two, “Perfect Lover,” another Toots original, is a warm authentic soul number. And when he finally kicks into a reggae beat, it’s on a cover of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, “Hope That We Can Be Together Soon,” featuring guest vocalist, Latoya Hall Downer. But then it appears, that awful synth sound where the horns should be. Why? Why? Why? And in the following track there’s a real sax augmenting the fake horns but it cannot hide what is really going on.

“Jungle” features cartoon sound effects and a sampled feline growl. It’s an attempt at club music and it’s corny as Hell. “Fool For You” has nice intentions but the arrangement lacks imagination and the the production on the background voices sounds tinny. “Bye Bye” is just plain strange. I’d like to hear a George Jones cover of that number.

“What Kind of Woman” reminds me of the same attempt Galactic did with Irma Thomas on the track “Heart of Steel.” The difference is, Irma’s works. “There Is A Reason” samples “Time Tough” and it works but good luck getting through the remaining four numbers.

Stylistically, it’s all over the board, from club to disco to gospel to very little reggae. My recommendation is to download “Perfect Lover” and “There Is A Reason” and forget about the rest. Sorry Toots. I still love you, but this isn’t working.

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