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BOBBY WOMACK – Fly Me to the Moon

Bobby Womack – Fly Me to the MoonBobby Womack – “Fly Me to the Moon”
Release Date: January 28, 1998 Label: EMI Europe Generic

The name Bobby Womack never really had great associations in my mind, for one reason or another. The other day however I was really taken by his version of the standard Fly Me to the Moon and decided to check him out. Now I think he is one cool chameleon, if I may say so myself.

Fly Me to the Moon is a very clever reinterpretation of a classic but, in my opinion, tired song. Luckily in this version there is really something to the swing of the band and the way the instrumentation and feeling progresses. The opening guitar riff is warm and natural; and an instant hook. You can hardly recognize the song if it wasn’t for the horns along with the heavy two’s and four’s.

Opening with yet another great (though this time shorter, thus one can follow sweeter too) guitar intro is the next song on the album, Baby You Oughta Think it Over. It’s a textbook example of a great vocal performance. Listen to the saxophones as they emphasize Womack’s entrances, each of which he is more than up for the challenge. Really, trust me, listen to it! One of my favorite things about soul music is how the different artists play can around with the many layers of their songs, simply and to such effect. The way that Womack’s epic performance is framed by his band makes it that much more valuable, I think. Having a song that fully engages ten to fifteen musicians at all time is a rare thing, and with great soul you can feel the band as a single entity pushing the song forward. This is no exception, but the way that his voice rises above the band is what soul I guess is really about: getting yourself lost in pure unfettered celebration of emotion… and then some.

By Joshua Cahan

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