Shirley Brown - Holding My Own 
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Tuesday, 26 September 2000

Holding My Own, Malaco Records, 2000
| Performance 7.5 | Sound 6 |

In with my care package from Malaco Records, which included Relaxin’ With Tyrone Davis, came Miss Shirley Brown’s Holding My Own. Shirley is a big singer. She really puts out a powerful vocal presence on this record with a soulful, well-produced sound. Her accompanying band is nothing short of great, with Hammond organs and funk guitars layin’ it down under. I warn you, you would be really careful if you were to lay down under Miss Brown on any of these tracks.

The leadoff cut preaches the advantages of loving a large woman in the tune "Sweet Lips, Big Hips." The tune sets a good up-tempo and humorous tone for the record. "Is There A Lover In The House" is a song with hints of overtones of the Weather Girls (known for their 1980’s hit "It’s Raining Men"), with a keyboard synthed-up mid-‘80s arrangement not too different than what you find on records like Eric Clapton’s August or Behind The Sun. The hidden gem on Holding My Own is "Cold Turkey," a bluesy jam about finding out that your lover is being less than faithful. The backup singers are fired up for this tune that just struts and strolls with confident arrogance.

Shirley Brown is good fun. With Holding My Own, she has made a CD that I have played for many of my friends. They laugh out loud and it ends up getting played out from start to finish. I own practically every Barry White and Isaac Hayes record ever made and I love them, but finding bumpin’ new artists like Shirley Brown and Tyrone Davis, I’ve got even more ammo for my CD player when I’ve got that jones for more obscure soul and R&B music.

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