Since it’s Valentines Day I’m going to keep my vinyl selections on the schmoopy side of things. I mean, hey, why not? And with that in mind, I’m moving onto ‘Chapter Two‘ by the Grammy Award winning Roberta Flack.
Released on Atlantic Records, it’s a great album and the release that made Roberta a major soul and R&B artist in the early ’70s. She had a soft, compelling, alluring voice, and was able to convincingly switch gears and also convey anger, regret, hurt, or despair. Those who thought Flack was a one-hit wonder, or didn’t think she could make the transition from doing mostly jazz to other styles, were convinced otherwise after this album.
Every track is sublime. Te album opener ‘Reverend Lee‘ will make you want to listen to it over and over and over again. It’s that ridiculously awesome. Clearly this is exactly what Dusty Springfield had done just before she wrote and recorded ‘Son of a Preacher Man‘.
However, it’s the next track that will leave you breathless and quite possible teary, the masterful remake of Jimmy Webb’s ‘Do What You Gotta Do‘. It’s the most romantically tragic song ever written, and I know how bold a statement that is to make. But, seriously, it is. In fact – and I admit it here openly and freely – the first time I heard this song I was not in as good a place as I am now and I cried. I absolutely bawled my eyes out. I was a blubbering, snotty mess. It was just so tragic and sad and I listened to it over and over and over again, each time my heart breaking into smaller and smaller pieces. It was almost sadomasochist. Oh, and then there’s the forlorn cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Just Like a Woman‘ that comes next to contend with as well.
The rest of the album is just as emotional and endearing. It’s tragic loss and lonely hearts galore on tracks like ‘Gone Away‘, ‘Until It’s Time For You To Go‘, and ‘Let It Be Me‘. So I guess what I’m really trying to say here is, while as awesome as it is, be sure you have a box of Kleenex handy when you put this album on.