You know the feeling you get when you wake up after a dream–a dream about someone? Maybe it’s someone you’d never dream about on purpose, but, well.. there they were.. and now, you have that fuzzy, goofy, anything’s possible sensation?
That’s how really good rhythm and blues makes me feel–goofy. I’m not sure why, and don’t really care. It’s just the way it is.
Give me some Four Tops, Isley Brothers, and Temptations. Throw in the O’ Jays, Dramatics, Tower of Power, and top it off with some Blood, Sweat and Tears. OK.. pile on Earth, Wind and Fire while you’re at it. I keep thinking of others to add to the list. It all gets me silly and I play my favorites until the CD dissolves into vapor.
I’ve discovered common components in the R&B that gets my nod. The vocals have a gritty quality.. like the singer’s been chewing on sandpaper, or just recovered from strep throat. I’ve gotta have brass/ and or and strings. A good bass line doesn’t hurt. Choreography like the Temptations mastered sweetens the deal–it’s an art form.
And.. this is very important.. R&B has to be cranked. LOUD. I have to hear every nuance. This is why MP3 players with headsets don’t work well for this kind of music. I’ve got to feel it.. not just hear it. It has to surround me. Becoming one with the music gets real and I can do anything. Wow.
I realize the evangelical nature of this post. It’s just one woman’s way of being in the world.. and it works for me. Music can challenge my senses.. it invites me to a higher (or lower) road. It is a little like a drug. And R&B is not the only genre I love.. but boy howdy, it sure is way up there.
(SLH — I know you loved you some R&B, too. Groove on in the stars above me.)
Just finished writing this to “Ain’t No Woman Like The One I Got” by The Four Tops.
Oy. Bring on the goofy.