“There’s No Place Like America Today” by Curtis Mayfield - album review

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TJR says

What a cracking album cover! It was based on a famous photograph by Margaret Bourke-White and published in Life Magazine in February 1937. Snapped at the height of the great depression, her picture captured African Americans in Louisville, Kentucky, lining up seeking food and clothing from a relief station, in front of a billboard ironically proclaiming “World's Highest Standard of Living.” The unspoken black and white divide is clear for all to see – and the implication from Curtis is that the image is as relevant now as it was then – a recurring complaint which has noticeably intensified within African-American music from the mid-60s to the mid-70s. The dark-funk of “Billy Jack” is the big keeper for me, lamenting the cold-blooded murder of a hustler and, more importantly, the sad inevitability of it all. Alas, the set fails to grip as well as this on a consistent basis; tracks such as “Blue Monday People” and “Love To The People” might be right-on lyrics-wise, but the message is lost on me, delivered as it is in a namby-pamby R n B styling which foretells a grim future direction for African-American soul music.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [06:10] 7.4.png Curtis Mayfield - Billy Jack (Curtis Mayfield) Disco / Funk
A2 [05:28] 5.5.png Curtis Mayfield - When Seasons Change (Curtis Mayfield) Soul Ballad
A3 [05:15] 5.2.png Curtis Mayfield - So In Love (Curtis Mayfield) R n B
B1 [06:13] 5.5.png Curtis Mayfield - Jesus (Curtis Mayfield) Soul Ballad
B2 [04:50] 4.8.png Curtis Mayfield - Blue Monday People (Curtis Mayfield) R n B
B3 [03:45] 6.3.png Curtis Mayfield - Hard Times (Curtis Mayfield) Disco / Funk
B4 [04:07] 4.7.png Curtis Mayfield - Love To The People (Curtis Mayfield) R n B

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