Yes, yes ya’ll another new series for ya!

Someone reminded me this past weekend about an automobile that I had in my late teens that served as my listening environment for many a cassingle. Yes the venerable cassette single and from 1989-1994 I cannot tell you how many I amassed as I rolled out in my beloved 1986 Nissan Maxima, yes the ones that talked.

It could have been any typical day in the late Fall of ’89 that you could have caught me rockin’ this gem from Chuckii Booker… sunroof open at cruising speed just taking it all in. This is that West Coast sophisticated keyboard laced funk that Chuckii is known for.

After a short instrumental intro the track opens with the chorus and listen as the vocals are doubled by the keyboards in a higher octave on every other line to complete the choir. When we move into the first verse checkout how it unfolds… Chuckii sings three bars and then leaves the fourth bar open for a instrumental response, each time a different variation this keeps you “tuned in” for lack of a better phrase. The other thing that happens in the verse is the music is stripped down from the big layers that are happening in the chorus to the essence: The driving beat, the bass and a few atmospheric keyboard parts. Ultimately what this does is focuses your attention on the vocal front and center.

As we move out of the verse into the pre-chorus we are treated to a beautiful melancholy melody supplemented by the entry of instruments whose role is now to sustain and create a pad or a bed for what is happening vocally. Then we arrive at the chorus again and we feel like we are home having been introduced to this theme at the outset.

On the second verse those bars where the instruments were featured previously they are now joined by some vocal interplay. The song from there follows form for the most part save a short instrumental break after the chorus followed by a return to the pre-chorus and then the chorus until the song fades out. I definitely understand why Chuckii chose to re-visit the pre-chorus at the end of the song because it’s strong both melodically and harmonically and it bonds the entire production together.

Cassingle Status: Too many rewinds to mention.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.