Soul Fantasy

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Masqueraders - Starry love 1980


The Masqueraders, all from different parts of Texas, are one of those acts that manage to give an above-average effort each and every time they visit a recording studio. The five merged from as many groups in high school and have been recording since the early '60s. This self-titled LP kicks off with a fast and frenzied "Desire"; lead singer Lee Hatim shows why he's considered one of the most underrated voices in soul music, exhorting and pumping the lyrics with genuine conviction. "Starry Love" is a dreamy ballad with an edge;the Masqueraders couldn't sound wimpy if they tried. Hatim did a double on this one by singing and playing piano on the sessions; make that a triple — he wrote or co-wrote all the songs too. The electrifying "Into Your Soul" has Hatim singing a very personal lyric to someone special while apparently tickling the ivories, the fire in his voice emerging at times like a raging bull. Members Harold Thomas, Sammy Hutchins, Robert Wrigthsel, and David Sanders were missing in action on "For the Sake of Pride" as Hatim goes solo. If you like a reggae beat, then "I'll Be Your Shoulder to Cry On" has elements of the world-renowned Jamaican groove complete with clacking calypsos, hand-clapping, and island-flavored backing vocals. The only disappointment is "Rock Jam," a poor attempt to cash in on disco. James Stroud produced this LP and played drums and percussion on the tracks. A good effort that went unnoticed, like many of their recordings.
Masqueraders: Lee Hatim, Harold Thomas, Robert Wrightsel, David Sanders and Sammy Hutchins.
Review by Andrew Hamilton

I chose a wonderful track entitled "Starry love".


Anonymous said...

Please post the whole album - it is beautiful! Spread the knowledge of this out-of-print album!

Anonymous said...

Ditto! Share the joy with others - especially when it can't be found except for the few a wealthy - please post it :)