Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere: "Midnight Flyer" CD Review (Stax) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere: "Midnight Flyer" CD Review (Stax)

STREAM: Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere - "I Can't Stand It"

On June 15th, soul men Steve Cropper (Booker T. and the MGs) and Felix Cavaliere (the Rascals) released their second disc Midnight Flyer (Stax Recording via Concord Records) . This disc is a follow-up to the duo's critically acclaimed 2008 release Nudge It Up a Notch.

This new disc's twelve tracks combine the blue-eyed soul vocals of Felix Cavaliere with the 'traditional' Memphis soul/Stax guitar sound of Steve Cropper. The songs are a mix of 70's urban soul (with a funk flair) and Stax-sound R&B which places the band's sound somewhere between Booker T. & The M.G.'s and War. One of the stand-out tracks is "I Can't Stand It" which features Cavaliere in a duet with his daughter Aria and they trade off on a killer call-and-response chorus.

The majority of this disc is slow burning - Felix Cavaliere's voice sounds in perfect form and Steve Cropper throws in some subtly tasteful licks but there isn't enough fire across the disc as a whole to pull in non-fans. Some of the strongest track are the two cover tunes Ann Peebles’ “I Can’t Stand the Rain” and Smokey McAllister's "I Can't Stand It" and the predominately instrumental "Do It Like This" but the rest of the disc never seems to catch fire.

Midnight Flyer is a solid showing by two soul legends so ,if you can give the slower tunes the attention they need, you will likely sink into their slow-burn grooves.

Steve Cropper
Felix Cavaliere