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At it again

Strong Love Affair
Strong Love Affair
By Ray Charles

Warner Bros.: 1996

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This review first appeared in the February 16, 1996 issue of the North County Times.

As the title of a Ray Charles album from some 15 years ago put it, "Brother Ray Is at it Again!" His best album in two decades (if not longer) shows the elder statesman of R&B still laying down the funkiest of all grooves, still the hippest of all the hip cats.

But most importantly, the songwriting team of Richard Niles and Phil Spalding gives Charles some of the strongest songs he's had to work with in years. Heresy perhaps, given how many classics Charles has written through the years. But his performance of these songs shows that with good material, he's still got the chops.

Still, there's nothing here likely to break through on radio: just some great performances of moving songs that show an old master hasn't lost his touch.