Charlie Hunter

Baboon Strength

by Jason MacNeil

15 March 2009

 
cover art

Charlie Hunter

Baboon Strength

(Spire Artist)
US: 8 Sep 2008

Guitarist Charlie Hunter is still exploring new sounds and styles, and this one isn’t all that different from that idea or mindset. While sometimes he is a hit-and-miss artist, Hunter makes more connections on this record, especially on the groovy album starter “Athens”, which is laidback and funky. From there, “Astronaut Love Triangle” ups the funk, resembling a Prince out-take in some respects. And Hunter shines on this ditty, fleshing it out over nearly five fine minutes. Mixing jazz, soul, pop and rock, a tune like “Difford-Tilbrook” does bring Squeeze to mind but doesn’t really squeeze the listener much. One of the stranger pieces comes during “A Song for Karen Carpenter”, which is a slow burner of sorts, relying on a soulful bass line to set the tone for the sensual, romantic mood that evolves. However, the spacey, retro “Munsters”-ish title track leaves a lot to be desired. The highlight? Most likely “Fine Corinthian Leather” which glides effortlessly but a close second is the closing “AbadabA”.

Baboon Strength

Rating:

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