For once, The Rascals do almost everything right - they ditched the Brigati crooner material, most of the psychedelia, and the gimmicks. Instead, this album is one soul track after another, often with themes concerning equality, as typified by the hit "People Got to Be Free".
Sure, most of this stuff sounds like Motown, but that isn't a bad thing, it's just that there's not much by way of innovation - Cavaliere and Brigati do an interesting reworking of "America the Beautiful", and "Of Course" features something like a wah-wah electric piano - but the band's focus is a decent trade-off after Once Upon a Dream
If the band had restricted this to just one LP instead of a double, Freedom Suite
may've been their strongest album - a socially conscious soul release with mass appeal. But the second LP, subtitled Music Music
, cashes up some of that goodwill - it's consists of either the band playing around and keeping the results, or it's an attempt to demonstrate their technical skills for critics ...
The second LP's first side has a bluesy jam, entitled "Adrian's Birthday" (for engineer Adrian Barber), and has a Super Session
-lite feel. Danelli's "Boom" occupies the rest of the side, and - listener beware - it's a drum solo. A long drum solo. Aside from Cavaliere, Danelli was The Rascals' strongest musician, and he could probably outplay almost any other East Coast drummer from his era, without being flashy. Still, a drum solo is a trial of patience, and the best that can be said is this one is not corrosive.
by Reviewer: Obscurity
(blogging at Obscurity!