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Carol Duboc: Songs for Lovers

Opting to invade the arena of blue-eyed soul, Kansas City’s Carol Duboc ably captures the mountain-stream purity and tranquil contentment of Minnie Riperton throughout this change-of-pace fourth album. Working with just keyboards (accompanying herself on two tracks, then turning the keys over to producer/arranger Tim Carmon), accented with flute (courtesy of the great Hubert Laws) and, on three tracks, the guitars of Dennis Dodd and Agape Jerry, Duboc settles into an easy Natalie Cole-esque groove as bright and heartening as a breezy summer day. It’s a stylistic approach that fits well with all but one of the eight Duboc originals and two covers included here.

Among her own compositions, several, including the simmering “Night Moods,” the cleverly tongue-tied “Around You” and the misty title track, are estimably tantalizing. Conversely, her “Brownies and Wine,” “Baby Talk” (replete with annoying infant goo-goos) and “My Valentine” do nothing to move the art of the love song forward. As for the covers, her “Feel Like Making Love” captures the same sense of languid satisfaction that made the Roberta Flack original so engaging; but her gauzy reading of “Sexual Healing” gelds the Marvin Gaye masterpiece, stripping it of all its hungry yearning.

Originally Published