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George Duke: Dream On

Album Notes

On his R&B-oriented records of the late '70s, George Duke often shared the lead vocals with such band members as Lynn Davis, Josie James, and Napoleon Brock, but none of them are employed on 1982's Dream On, which finds him handling most of the lead vocals himself. And that isn't a bad thing, because Duke is a soulful and charismatic singer -- there is no reason why he shouldn't hog the microphone on his own albums. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a lot of first-rate material to work with on this competent, if uneven and unfocused, LP. Dream On isn't a bad album; sleek R&B ballads like "I Will Always Be Your Friend," "Let Your Love Shine," and "You" are pleasant, but they aren't remarkable, and while Dream On simmers, it never burns and never explodes. Even "Son of Reach for It (The Funky Dream)" -- a sequel to Duke's 1977 smash "Reach for It" -- isn't all that exciting. The best thing on the record is a remake of the mellow soul ballad "Someday," which he had previously recorded for 1975's I Love the Blues, She Heard My Cry. Again, Dream On isn't a disaster, but it isn't one of Duke's more impressive albums either. This LP is strictly for completists. ~ Alex Henderson



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