Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Lo Fidelity Allstars 

Don't Be Afraid of Love (Skint/Columbia)

At first, it seemed like the Lo Fis never even had a fair chance to make it in the U.S. When your vocalist leaves on the eve of your debut album's release, and what passes for the big beat community in America thinks you're a third-gen coattail rider, it's fair to say the odds are against you.

So, it's an enormous surprise that the reconstituted Allstars' sophomore turn moves beyond techno-rock clichés and succeeds as something grander. Oh, they still overload their songs with hedonistic mix-and-matches, hooks lifted from funk and rock sources, like the Fatboy's label cousins they very much are. Yet, in its finest moments, Don't Be Afraid distills the history of American rhythm and soul through the loving eyes and ears of Europeans who care, in a way no one in the dance community has tried before. The vocal turns by indie rock's finest soul singer, Greg Dulli (on "Somebody Needs You," an organ-based loverman tease), and Parliament/Funkadelic basszilla Bootsy Collins (doing "On the Pier," a psychedelic backwoods-dub sing-along) predictably hint at this. But throughout, you'll find the Jackson 5's exuberance, Joe Tex's hillbilly R&B, and Mystikal's azz-shakin' bounce -- not to mention blues references only historians and Outkast will get. Someone hook these limeys up with Timbaland . . . pronto!

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

More by Piotr Orlov

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation