Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Freda Payne

  • Band of Gold [Invictus, 1970] C+
  • The Best of Freda Payne [Invictus, 1972] B

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Band of Gold [Invictus, 1970]
I loved the title cut, too--on the radio--but this is not, as I had hoped, the auspicious debut of a new soul talent. Invictus is the Holland-Dozier-Holland label that represents their breakaway (as producers) from Motown, but this album represents no breakthrough. True, the material is mostly original, but the arrangements aren't, and Payne's emotional range is narrow. C+

The Best of Freda Payne [Invictus, 1972]
Recommended to those who neglected to purchase "Band of Gold" (wedding-night impotence!) and/or "Bring the Boys Home" (Vietnam with violins! a black sister calling out for peace with her brother content to exhort from the background!), which together with two familiar-sounding tunes by label-owners Holland-Dozier-Holland and two entertaining soap operas make for as nice a side of minor Motown as you're likely to get from the original these days. B