Various
Searching for Soul
(Luv ‘n’ Haight/Ubiquity)
The majority of these deep funk and soul tracks from 1968 to 1980 reveal the harsh realities of life in the Motor City. Manual B. Holcolm’s “I Stayed Away Too Long” includes this disheartening line: “When I got your last letter, I knew something was wrong/ I was layin’ in a foxhole, baby, deep in Vietnam.” Couple tracks later, Robert Jay’s “Alcohol Pt. 1” exorcises the demon liquid from his life: “Alcohol, oh, alcohol, I got to put you down/ Take all my money and threw me on the ground.” Wendell Harrison’s instrumental “Farewell to Welfare Pt. 1” throws down a horn and wah-wah-guitar-driven anthem worthy of Isaac Hayes or Curtis Mayfield. The mood lightens here and there, but Searching for Soul stands out for its fierce social commentary on a dying American city.
—Sean Flinn

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