STYLE: R&B RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 6485-6371 LABEL: Benson CDO2617 FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
There's an album gathering dust somewhere in my attic which was Billy & Sarah's debut (I believe). It was so MOR, in an overblown Steve Green inspirational kind of way, that when I first played it I went scurrying to the turntable to check they hadn't inadvertently put some honkies in a black gospel sleeve. So it's with a little amusement that I listen to this decidedly funky set. I'd like to think that Friends Indeed' represents Mr and Mrs Gaines asserting their creative identity rather than a cynical A&R play to clamber aboard the BeeBee and CeeCee crossover soul gospel train. But whatever the reason the saccharine orchestrations have been dumped in favour of funky Fairlights and all manner of synth sequences. I for one approve of the change. As an album it's pretty good and Billy's light soulful tenor and Sarah's slightly nasal, slightly Deniece Williams-style vocals sound good on both the gospel soul ballads and the funky soul dancers.
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