F.O.B. - Love's A Woman's Game

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Barry International
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:27:00

F.O.B's Love's A Woman's Game is not prog. Not even remotely. Not in any way, shape, or form. I'm not sure why this was submitted here for review, but here it is. And, after several months I'm only now listening to it...and discovering that it is no way prog. Or metal, for that matter. Or even jazz-fusion. No, it is as far from the core of "prog" as is the extreme metal we mention in the news page.

So why am I reviewing it? Is it because some well-known prog artist has lent his name or talents? No. Because it's on some label known for its prog releases? No. Is just because it was sent and I feel obligated to comment on it some way? Yes, that's part of it ... maybe that's the whole of it. Don't get me wrong. It's not a bad record. If it totally sucked, I wouldn't even give it this "obligation" review. It's not like I'm reviewing it so that we can all have a good laugh or anything (though some of the lyrics did strike me as funny). In fact, it sounds rather nice. But it's more rhythm and blues -- in fact, "This Thing Called Love" sounds an awful lot like "Where Is The Love," that classic Donny Hathaway R & B track of the seventies. Yes, if you think of Destiny's Child and other modern all girl R & B/soul groups, you'll have a good idea of what this is like. The jazzy background is quite good as well, "Lover's Don't Play" has some nice orchestrations in the background. Okay, there is a keyboard part that sounds a bit like Styx, but I think because it's probably played on the same instrument rather there being any reference to Styx. Yes, and having said that, this review will pop up at some point when someone does a word search for that band. (Don't despair, we have reviewed Styx... [hush, you Styx haters]). (Because that's bound to happen with other certain terms, I've made advisory comments along the way...)

I wasn't sure until I heard this whether it would be proggy or not. Or even proggy jazz, for that matter. I mean, something seemed unproggy/unmetal about the album's title... I guess because I reviewed Rick Braun's Body And Soul CD this was sent. This sounds so much like classic R&B. And while I still like jazz, and love the instrumental aspects to this, R & B has never really been my thing. Oh, a track here and there, I suppose. And whatever was played on top 40 radio when I listened to top 40 and top 40 radio played these kind of things - Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, etc. But otherwise, I was never really into this kind of music... but, there are very terrific instrumental performances... including a searing guitar lead on "Gunslinger." This track sounds at first a bit like Prince ("When Dove's Cry"), then the percussion becomes like that in ZZ Top's "Gimme All Your Lovin'." Nice flute here, too...nah, not gonna mention who you think I'm going to mention; don't want to confuse his fans unnecessarily. Besides, it wouldn't be an apt comparison.

Sex. Yes, it's all about sex. And even if it isn't, it sure seems like it's all about sex. The album I mean, not life [sorry, porn fans, that's about as much sex as you'll find here]. And, in that, some of the lyrics made me chuckle. I mean, sometimes when one is frank about what they mean, one just has to laugh. I mean, things we might say to a lover in the throws of passion, seem downright goofy otherwise. I mean, you have to be "there" for it to work. So, yeh, this would be an album to play in the dark... if you're a guy. Gals... you may want to play it for your guy, in the dark, if the mood is right. Suddenly, Tim Meadow's "Leon" SNL-character came to mind; you know, the love/sex-advice guy. Yeh, this album is like that. So, though sung in earnest, I did have to chuckle at "Prisoner," at the frank sexuality. Don't worry, I sometimes chuckle at the intensity of death metal lyrics, too. It's that objective view from one step back... here, though, I'm not sure if the intention was to be funny, but... to me it is. I chuckled, too, at "Makin' it while you're sleeping, takin' it on the run," as go the lyrics of "Gunslinger." The wonders of Viagra, I suppose. Or the curse.

The press sheet that accompanied this - and which I probably should have read when this disk arrived some while ago - says "F.O.B. features a CD in which each track can be released as a single..." Yes, that's very true. This would go down on radio very well - innuendo intended (in the background the lyrics are "getting my way with you"). I mean, there's no reason why R&B-oriented radio stations wouldn't eat this up... man, this innuendo is contagious. Guys, I'd describe this album for you as the audio equivalent of Playboy... [sorry, that's all the mention the magazine gets here].

Here are the folks involved: Kelli Steward and Nicole Scherzinger (Eden's Crush) on lead vocals; Donna Mason, Tanita Gaines, and Annissia on backing vocals; Jeff McAllister on drums; William Simmons on bass; Todd Hildreth and Bill (Save) Sweeney on keyboards; Peter Rhee on violin; Craig Wagner, Jeff Baxter, Joe Scheirich, Guy Roddy, and Alex Tench on guitars, Rick Debow on flute and sax, and the F.O.B. horns. F.O.B. is an acronym for Family Of Barry, and Barry International has released the CD.... whoever Barry is. White? Manilow? Bonds? Sparks? [hey, check out the latter in my Cosmosquad review].

If I had CD player that could extract the vocals -- about which I want to say again that they all have very good, very smooth voices -- I might listen to this more, as it's the instrumental aspects that I like. I even like the orgasmic sax solo of Debow's in "Warrior." And if you don't think that's the intent, know that just before it one of the backing vocalist squeals like she's having the best sex she's ever had... or so I am assuming.

Teaser (3:27) / I Saw You (4:31) / This Thing Called Love (4:11) / Lover's Don't Play (4:10) / Love's A Woman's Game (6:07) / Prisoner (5:47) / I'm Getting There (6:08) / Gunslinger (7:56) / Forgettin' Ain't Easy (4:54) / My Way With You (6:62) / Warrior (6:31)

Kelli Steward - lead vocals
Nicole Scherzinger - lead vocals
Donna Mason - background vocals
Tanita Gaines - background vocals
Annissia - background vocals
Jeff McAllister - drums
William Simmons - bass
Todd Hildreth - keyboards
Bill (Save) Sweeney - keyboards
Peter Rhee - violin
Craig Wagner - guitars
Jeff Baxter - guitars
Joe Scheirich - guitars
Guy Roddy - guitars
Alex Tench - guitars
Rick Debow - flute and sax
F.O.B. horns

Love's A Woman's Game (2001)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: August 25th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow

Artist website: www.angelfire.com/music4/barryintl/index.html
Hits: 752
Language: english


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