The Isley Brothers slow it down beautifully on first album in a half decade

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    (September 30, 2022) There are few groups that have stood the test of time like the Isley Brothers. Now incredibly in their 8th decade, the family group -- today shrunk from as many as six members to the duo of Ron and Ernie Isley -- has constantly adjusted to the times, moving from doo wop, to Motown soul, to electric funk and many styles in between over the years to stay popular and relevant.

    Now, as the duo embarks on yet another national tour, The Isleys deliver their first new album in a half decade (their 2017 duet album with Santana hit the top 20). Make Me Say It Again Girl was led by the singles "Family and Friends" last year and more recently the title song remake of their classic 70s single with the help of Beyonce.

    (September 30, 2022) There are few groups that have stood the test of time like the Isley Brothers. Now incredibly in their 8th decade, the family group -- today shrunk from as many as six members to the duo of Ron and Ernie Isley -- has constantly adjusted to the times, moving from doo wop, to Motown soul, to electric funk and many styles in between over the years to stay popular and relevant.

    Now, as the duo embarks on yet another national tour, The Isleys deliver their first new album in a half decade (their 2017 duet album with Santana hit the top 20). Make Me Say It Again Girl was led by the singles "Family and Friends" last year and more recently the title song remake of their classic 70s single with the help of Beyonce.

    The album, which is largely produced by 1500 or Nothin, Justus West, Khirye Tyler and Quintin Gulledge, is a romantic suite, aimed straight at the group's adult "grown & sexy" audience. Filled with ballads and mild steppers, Make Me Say gives ample space to Ron's still-supple voice, while also providing plenty of guitar solos for Ernie Isley.

    Perhaps the most smile-inducing song for longtime Isleys fans is "Long Voyage Home," essentially a sonic sequel to the group's iconic 1977 song, "Voyage To Atlantis." On it, Ron Isley soars above an psychedelic background to remind his woman that he'll "always come back" as he promised to Atlantis nearly a half century ago.

    Make Me Say It Again Girl is more than a piece of nostalgia. It is a solid return for an ageless act -- two brothers still doing their thing beautifully more than 70s years after they first made us "Twist and Shout."

    By Chris Rizik

     
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