Q - 9/94, p.1173 Stars
- Good - "...Hurrah for this re-issue from 1982..."
Personnel: Mose Allison (acoustic & electronic piano); Joe Farrell (tenor saxophone, flute); Phil Upchurch (guitar); Putter Smith (bass); John Dentz (drums); Ron Powell (congas, percussion).
Recorded at Sage And Sound Studio, Los Angeles, California on Febrary 2 & 3, 1982. Includes liner notes by Mose Allison.
No one escaped the '80s without an embarrassing tale to tell. Fortunately, in Allison's case, it's a minor one. 1982's MIDDLE CLASS WHITE BOY stands up proudly next to the rest of Allison's catalog, with one fly in the ointment. Throughout the album, his customary piano is inexplicably replaced by a cheesy sounding electronic keyboard that sounds both endearingly quirky and irreparably out-of-place. That said, this is a nice combination of new Allison tunes ("I Don't Want Much," "I'm Nobody Today"), old Allison tunes (the unjustly obscure cosmic humor of "Hello There, Universe"), and covers ("Tennessee Waltz," Muddy Waters' "Rollin' Stone"). The album closes with the Allison gem "Kiddin' on the Square," a combination of the earnestness and prankster-ism essential to the Allison genius. If you can ignore the curious keyboard tones, there's much value to be found in MIDDLE CLASS WHITE BOY.