EP REVIEW: Robbie Dupree - Arc of Romance
By Cyrus Rhodes - 10/16/2012 - 02:31 PM EDT
Artist: Robbie Dupree
Album: Arc of Romance (EP)
Label: Spectra Records
Genre: Funk, Jazz-Funk and Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: Seal, Al Green, Robbie Nevil, Bobby Caldwell
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: For the Love of you, I Only Have Eyes For You
Woodstock, NY based artist Robbie Dupree just released his latest EP entitled Arc of Romance in 2012 (Spectra Records). In 1978, Robbie made the decision to pursue a solo career. He moved to Los Angeles and hooked up with old friends Rick Chudacoff and Peter Bunetta. Together, they produced his first solo recording. In 1980, Robbie signed a contract with Elektra Records. His debut self-titled album yielded two Top 10 singles, "Steal Away" and "Hot Rod Hearts," and earned him a Grammy® nomination for Best New Artist. To date, "Steal Away" has been played on American radio almost three million times. It stands as a true pop classic. Over the past 25 years, Robbie has released 11 albums. His latest is Arc of a Romance, which features covers of the songs that most influenced his career. Robbie’s music can be heard in major motion pictures, network television shows, and national sports events. VH1 recently featured a profile of his enduring career. He continues to record and maintain a full touring schedule, performing on concert stages around the world.
The CD gently takes flight with impressive remake of Flamingos “I Only Have Eyes for You” a smooth flowing intro piece that serves up intoxicating musical vibe against inviting Hammond organ chops, impressive guitar and harmonica accents against a soulful vocal performance from Dupree. This first piece really make a good first impression and gets the EP off on the ground nicely. Track 2 presents the Isley Brothers smash “For the Love of You” and keeps thing moving in the smooth direction with impressive vocal delivery from Dupree against steady flowing rhythm, smooth melodic guitar ambience. Track 3 “We Let the Stars Go” shifts gears a bit with its methodical vocal intro, gradually building into an impressive ballad with impressive musicianship and a passionate vocal finale that flows and ebbs it’s way though to emotional fruition. The EP makes a great first impression dashing out 3 solid songs in a row. The musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like acoustic and jazz guitar, flute, piano, impressive horns, percussive accents, Hammond Organ chops and lush harmonies all built on a thick as a brick rhythm section. Now turning our attention over to Dupree - as for his vocal abilities, his voice works extremely well within the confines of this catalogue. His vocals clealry go unparallel but remind me of Seal, Al Green, Robbie Nevil and Bobby Caldwell and fills the sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. I might add Dupree takes several vocal risks throughout the CD indicated to me a strong and extremely confident vocal ability. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent musical statements across the board. From heartfelt “Coronation Street" to the bonus version of “For the Love of you” (feat Butch Thomas) this EP has something for just about everyone. I normally dedicated this paragraph to weaknesses. As you can see I have nothing to report. In fact let me go on records and say Arc of Romance is one of the best EP's that's come across my desk this year.
This latest CD from Robbie Dupree delivers 5 amazing tracks all providing thought provoking wisdom with messages that are uplifting, passionate and carefree. Dupree is clearly a master at delving a vocal performances that really make a connection. This is what makes him a marquee talent. The music is highly passionate, uplifting and extremely entertaining. The songwriting – world class, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire CD. The writing and playing abilities of Dupree’s band are rock solid, the melodies and harmonies are well crafted and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with rich conventional wisdom. Last but not least the vocal presence of Robbie Dupree is of legends. Robbie Dupree is an infectious musical talent that goes beyond typical pigeonholing by music critics like myself. Just let the music of Robbie Dupree do all the talking shall we.
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