Cooly's Hot Box - Don't Be Afraid, Get On

Cooly's Hot Box
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Don't Be Afraid, Get On picks up where Cooly's Hot Box's excellent debut, Take It, left off.  If anything, Don't Be Afraid is even more aimed at the dance floor than its predecessor, with 9 of the 11 cuts being upbeat numbers.  Like Take It, the new album at times falls prey to 70s-style lyrical excesses ("Touch My Body"), but the folks at the club probably won't be too lyrically discriminating when they're dancing to these absolutely infectious cuts.  The tunes are uniformly strong and the arrangements hot throughout, providing elements reminiscent of Shalamar ("Motions"), Patrice Rushen ("After Life") and the group's most obvious influence, Heatwave ("Time 2B In Love").  And Angela Johnson's voice is such a treat, taking more of a front seat here than on the first album and again helping to take already strong material to another level.  "Don't Be Afraid" and "Motions" are as good as any dance cuts as you'll hear this year and "Are We Lovers An

Don't Be Afraid, Get On picks up where Cooly's Hot Box's excellent debut, Take It, left off.  If anything, Don't Be Afraid is even more aimed at the dance floor than its predecessor, with 9 of the 11 cuts being upbeat numbers.  Like Take It, the new album at times falls prey to 70s-style lyrical excesses ("Touch My Body"), but the folks at the club probably won't be too lyrically discriminating when they're dancing to these absolutely infectious cuts.  The tunes are uniformly strong and the arrangements hot throughout, providing elements reminiscent of Shalamar ("Motions"), Patrice Rushen ("After Life") and the group's most obvious influence, Heatwave ("Time 2B In Love").  And Angela Johnson's voice is such a treat, taking more of a front seat here than on the first album and again helping to take already strong material to another level.  "Don't Be Afraid" and "Motions" are as good as any dance cuts as you'll hear this year and "Are We Lovers Anymore" is a mid-tempo gem. 

If it is true that great music will ultimately find an audience, then Don't Be Afraid, Get On should be the breakout album for Cooly's Hot Box.  It's certainly going to spend a lot of time in my CD player.

By Chris Rizik

 
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