Album: Bobby Purify <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Better To Have It, PROPER
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The Independent Culture

This is a comeback album from Ben Moore, aka Bobby Purify, once half of the soul duo James and Bobby Purify. Moore was the third, and final, singer to take the role, subsequently retaining the Purify name throughout a solo R&B and gospel career that lasted for three decades until blindness forced him off the road in 1998. His voice, though, remains as rich, warm and powerful as ever, a strong man under pressure on songs like "Better To Have It" and "You Make Me Dig", confidently assertive on "I'm Qualified", and down-home appealing on "The Pond", a piece of Deep South hokum about anthropomorphised pond-life having a party. Apart from Moore's own "What's Old To You" - in which an older man relishes the prospect of snubbing the younger girl who regrets having dumped him - all of the material was written by Penn with Carson Whitsett and Bucky Lindsey, who have extended the older man's point of view through songs such as "Forever Changed" and "My Life To Live Over". The arrangements offer a masterclass in Southern Soul modes. The only sour note is hit by the last track, "Only In America", maudlin tosh about God's grace, a quality which apparently operates, as cynics suspect, "only in America".

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