Ronnie Laws and Pressure “Pressure Sensitive”

When I bought this 1975 record per recommendation by Tom Seiler’s older brother, I think I was trying to “branch out,” but I never have warmed up to this record as much as I have just listening to it now. The overall sound is kind of fusiony, smooth jazzy, and dated, and the dated part makes it charming. I think the Clavinet has a lot to do with the overall sound. There’s also a percussion instrument called the Flexitone, which when I searched for it gave me a page with a picture of it and a thing you could click and hear it. Sometimes I love the internet nearly as much as I hate it!

The best approach to this record is to respond to how each individual song makes me feel or what it makes me think of. “Always There” which is a “classic” makes me envision a low budget, 1970s blaxploitation movie, as well as a commercial for an upscale steakhouse where investment bankers go before taking their season ticket seats at an NBA game. “Momma” sends a private detective through various steamy and sordid night spots. “Never Be The Same” emerges as happy and sunny, on a date with the top down and wind in the hair. “Tell Me Something Good” makes me think of Stevie Wonder without Stevie Wonder– but maybe friends hanging out in on wholesome drug-free stoops.

Side Two: “Nothing To Lose”– through the city at dusk; if the budget allows, a helicopter shot. “Tidal Wave”– the deal is being made, cynical guys wearing expensive suits. “Why Do You Laugh At Me”– the resolution, with credits rolling, everyone puts their arms around each other, victory! “Mis’ Mary’s Place– a new beginning, tougher than ever.

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October 2007

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