Wade C. Long - Nostalgia (2020)

Wade C. Long
wadeclong-nostalgia.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

Wade C. Long - Nostalgia

They say in the fashion world that styles get revived every 20 or 30 years or so.  And just as bold colors, spandex and denim jackets return to some folks’ closets in recent years, a desire to recapture the synthy sounds of the 1980s explains why The Weeknd is out here sampling A-Ha.

Soul singer and musician Wade C. Long is an ‘80s Baby.’ However, the well-deserved title of ‘soul singer’ means that Long’s 80s soundtrack included something in addition to 1980s era synthy pop. Long was born in Cleveland, so he had plenty of examples of how to fuse soul, funk, jazz and rock into a stew that could get people jacking it up on the dance floor – or slowing it down.

Wade C. Long - Nostalgia

They say in the fashion world that styles get revived every 20 or 30 years or so.  And just as bold colors, spandex and denim jackets return to some folks’ closets in recent years, a desire to recapture the synthy sounds of the 1980s explains why The Weeknd is out here sampling A-Ha.

Soul singer and musician Wade C. Long is an ‘80s Baby.’ However, the well-deserved title of ‘soul singer’ means that Long’s 80s soundtrack included something in addition to 1980s era synthy pop. Long was born in Cleveland, so he had plenty of examples of how to fuse soul, funk, jazz and rock into a stew that could get people jacking it up on the dance floor – or slowing it down.

Long started the decade hearing The O’Jays sing “Forever Mine,” danced to Levert’s “Casanova” in the mid-1980’s and entered the 90’s hearing The Rude Boys give a little New Jack Swing balladry on “Written All Over Your Face.” Long’s latest, the aptly named Nostalgia, proves that he took all the right lessons from growing up in one of soul music’s hot beds.

The main lesson Long learned is that when you have a great voice, use it. Long uses his instrument to great effect on ballads such as “She,” “Since I’ve Found You” and the gospel infused “Rise.” He showcases his range and the classic soulfulness of his voice. Long takes us to church on “Rise,” tune where he adopts a conversational tone to assure his woman that he plans to rise to be the kind of man she wants him to be and in doing so they will rise as a couple.

“She” is the most intimate track on Nostalgia, and the cut that allows Long’s vocal virtues to shine the brightest. The track opens with Long’s vocal being accompanied by a piano as he waxes rhapsodic about the qualities that this woman possesses.

The dance track “Right Moves” is the tune that draws most of its spirit from 1980s synthesized funk. “Right Moves” tells that classic story of a guy finding love on the dance floor in the form of a woman with enchanting dance moves. This track features a bass line that moves from pulsating to thumping, with tight backing vocals above those ever-present keyboards. The constant is, of course, Long’s voice. The mid-tempo torch song “Running” is an homage to those lushly arranged ballads where the keyboards assumed the role that belonged to horns and maybe even strings back in the 1970s. The keyboards along with the backing vocals serve to add urgency to the song’s message of a man prepared to do what it takes to right any wrong that he might have committed.

Nostalgia includes one more element that is definitely a throwback to a time when multi-faceted artists like George Benson ruled the charts: instrumental numbers. Long is a pianist and he showcases his creativity on instrumental tracks such as “Norm’s Place,” “Far From Home” and funky “Bulljivin,” which has been featured in a First Listen.

Nostalgia is defined as longing or wistful affection for the past, typically a period or place with happy personal associations. Music fans who appreciate soul singing, romantic lyrics and strong R&B instrumental arrangements will      associate Nostalgia with good music – regardless of in what era their musical tastes were made. Highly Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 
Choice Cut - Maysa - "Lovin' You Is Easy"
Song of the Month - Aya Ito - "Don't Take My Life"

Leave a comment!