The Groove Association Ft. Georgie B - 3 AM

The Groove Association Ft. Georgie B
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George “Georgie B” Bromfield is an artist with his feet firmly planted in the sounds of the 1980s and early 1990s. Now that alone will cause some folks to throw shade as they listen to 3 AM, the new record by Georgie B’s group The Groove Association. They will say that The Groove Association is derivative and that the group lacks creativity -- the kind of criticisms that rarely get aimed at 1960s and 70s revivalists such as Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.

At some level the criticism says more about biases against what was happening in the R&B world of the 1980s as it does about the quality of the music made by The Groove Association. People can argue that 60s and 70s music was qualitatively better, but that doesn’t answer the question of whether the music of the 1980s and early 90s was any good. Well, as an exercise in musical revivalism, 3 AM serves as a reminder that the era’s R&B music offered many delights.

George “Georgie B” Bromfield is an artist with his feet firmly planted in the sounds of the 1980s and early 1990s. Now that alone will cause some folks to throw shade as they listen to 3 AM, the new record by Georgie B’s group The Groove Association. They will say that The Groove Association is derivative and that the group lacks creativity -- the kind of criticisms that rarely get aimed at 1960s and 70s revivalists such as Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.

At some level the criticism says more about biases against what was happening in the R&B world of the 1980s as it does about the quality of the music made by The Groove Association. People can argue that 60s and 70s music was qualitatively better, but that doesn’t answer the question of whether the music of the 1980s and early 90s was any good. Well, as an exercise in musical revivalism, 3 AM serves as a reminder that the era’s R&B music offered many delights.

One of those delights is that 3 AM validates those who listen to music for the fun of it and to escape their troubles, because The Groove Association makes music for the party people. That is the case, whether you play a track such as the percussive and funky dance number “Thinking About Your Love” or if you want to slow things down and play of album’s slow jams. Those ballads, “When a Woman Falls in Love” and the title track, recall the slow cuts of the 1980s. Both are bass dominated ballads where the bottom sets smooth yet funky vibe. Both tracks also tell stories of the aftermath of relationships that fall apart. “When a Woman Falls in Love” is a reminder that woman’s love can be impossible to rekindle when it’s lost. The title track tells the story of a man who spends the rainy early morning hours coping with a woman who is somewhere else and likely with somebody else.

The band infuses the up-tempo numbers on 3 AM with energy. “One of a Kind” sports of popping bass line and shimmering horn play that play perfectly with the song’s lyrics about the joy of discovering a new love, while “Choose Me” fuses spacey synthesizer works, plucking and thumping bass playing and vocal harmonies that are reminiscent of mid 1980s Cameo.

The music of the 1980s will never be treated as reverentially as the R&B and soul created in the preceding decades. However, when placed in loving and capable hands of an artist such as Georgie B on a record such as 3 AM, listeners will remember and appreciate what they liked about the music of that period. The Groove Association made a record that is fun, inclusive and infectious. Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 

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