Paging Mr. Gordy

...Never Had a Clue (Independent)
The Tymes Band

By David Lilly

What does the phrase "the '80s" mean to you? To the Tymes Band, it means this is 20 years later and, having weathered a personnel change or two, they're still around and making music. It's about tyme they put out a record.

This music has crowd-pleasing ingredients like a clear, crisp, mainstream sound, an excellent horn section and four singers and it's almost guaranteed to fill any dance floor. That's why I'd recommend it to most folks. Overall, it reminds me of a batch of Motown songs, which I'm not really a fan of, but that doesn't mean I think it's a lousy record.

These guys waste no time at all in getting down to the business of having a fun time as the first song, "Mama Never Had a Clue," jumps right out at you like a caged animal let loose. The melody reminds me just enough of Dylan's "Everything is Broken" that I sort of like it. "Let Them Talk" is a good shot of doo-wop and made me wonder about these guys opening for the BSO. Trumpet player Richard Deatz wrote "R & W," which is a nice slice of jazz-pop, sounding like a cover of some Donald Fagen song. Vocalist Wayne Hundley wrote or co-wrote six of the ten songs here, including "Must Be Christmas Time Again," which rocks to beat the, ahem, band, is cleverly written and closes this CD.

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