Sweet Honey in the Rock – The Other Side

The Other Side

Sweet Honey in the RockThe Other Side Flying Fish Records FF 70366 (1985)

Good vocals.  I can’t help but think this music feels a bit sterile though.  There is no doubt that this is the kind of group that performs primarily to cultural centers, civic centers, and other venues that have certain unstated rules of decorum and a presupposed deference in regard to artistic merit.  What I mean is that it’s the performers who are largely deciding what is meritorious and challenging rather than the audience, which is probably not very familiar with or critical when it comes to the type of music presented.  In other words, this is for musical tourists.  The format for this album seems similar to other albums by the group: about 1/3 gospel music, about 1/2 political/protest music, and the rest sort-of “world”, indigenous music adaptations.  The highlight for me is their version of Woody Guthrie‘s “Deportees”.  The rest had no effect on me.