April 29, 2015

Robert Palmer - Pride (1983)

Artist:  Robert Palmer
Title:  Pride
Release:  1983
Format:  LP
Label:  Island Records
Catalog#  205240

“Pride” (Robert Palmer’s eighth solo album) certainly isn’t Robert Palmer’s finest hour due to a number of uncharacteristically weak tracks, but it’s interesting enough in spurts, thanks to Palmer’s eclectic nature. More than anything, the album works as an uneven middle ground between the crisp lo-fi electronics of Clues and the moody rock of Riptide. Perhaps here more than on his previous albums, the strong songs are forced to carry the weight of some lesser efforts. But the standout tracks are quite good: the invigorating and thoroughly catchy “Pride” shows an obvious Bahamian influence with its steel drums and unusual syncopation; “Deadline,” a clear sequel to “Looking for Clues,” is just as catchy and fun; “It’s Not Difficult” and “Say You Will” mine Gary Numan and Thomas Dolby territory, and both are fitted with addictive vocal passages. Palmer stumbles somewhat as producer, too often offering up cheesy synth horns and failing to end songs in a satisfying way. Too many of the songs simply stop on a dime, and others fade out randomly, giving the impression they’ve been edited for the airwaves or that they’re demos. Unlike most Palmer albums, “Pride” features some true stinkers: “Dance for Me” struggles awkwardly to be sexy; “The Silver Gun” makes no sense with its film score lite effects and Palmer singing in Urdu. Elsewhere, songs straddle brilliance and mediocrity. An example is the Kool & the Gang cover, “You Can Have It (Take My Heart),” which fails despite Palmer’s wonderfully droll delivery, because it’s desperately underproduced and lacking punch. “What You Waiting For” is a near-classic, with a great off-kilter chorus.

Side one
1.  Pride  (3:27)
2.  Deadline  (3:53)
3. Want You More  (3:26)
4.  Dance for Me  (3:42)
5.  You Are in My System  (4:20)

Side two
1.  It’s Not Difficult  (3:41)
2.  Say You Will  (3:46)
3.  You Can Have It (Take My Heart)  (3:07)
4.  What You Waiting For  (3:44)
5.  The Silver Gun  (5:33)

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