Thursday, January 8, 2015
Alan White I'm Stranger Here Myself Laughing Willow 1987
Full disclosure; I'm probably never going to grab this album again. This is going to be my first and only impression of this release.
I can't find much info on Alan White, based on the LP it appears his home base was Kansas City, KS. Other than that, you can find listings on-line from sellers, most people that have tried to sell this LP try to pass it off as jazz. Which is weird, it came out in 1987. People selling records should know that there are only like 5 80's Jazz albums that people are actively searching for. That said, it does have jazz influences, on the smooth, yacht-rock, side of jazz, but the influence is there.
So yeah, yacht rock or 80's blue-eyed soul is where this lands. Lots of programmed beats and synth, but still a lot of organic stuff, horns play a prominent role and sometimes the guitar takes center stage. Alan White sings with soul, he lands on Michael McDonald spectrum, in that, yeah, he's got some soul, but I can still tell he's white.
Overall, I'm not a fan of this type of thing, but despite not having an expert opinion, I believe this is a well done LP. For a privately issued LP, it's insanely well-produced. The LP was produced by Alan White himself so it's surprising I can't find a list of other work he was involved in. This should all sound terribly corny, cheap and plastic. But, kid you not, if someone played this for me and said, "This was huge in the 80's." I'd believe them. Alan White's songs are par for course, the lyrics aren't hokey, the players are capable, the songs are well put together and thought out, and again, the production is well done. It's a little simple, but hey, that was the scene. If slick, privately produced, jazz-influenced pop-albums from the 80's ever become a collector thing, I'd say this might record might get noticed.