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Solid Recording from the J. Geils Band
on February 7, 2016
The music of the J. Geils Band is of such a good time R&B boogie nature that sometimes when I'm in a mellow, good mood, its such a pleasure to indulge in their material like this release in Sanctuary. The songwriting duo of keysman Seth Justman and vocalist Peter Wolf turn in a solid, assured and overlooked classic release, in my opinion. The ballad, "Teresa" is at the center of the album's length and is a powerful song with some beautiful piano playing and a heartfelt vocal from Wolf, as well as great harmonies from Justman and drummer Stephen Bland. Cuts like "I Could Hurt You", "Take It Back" and "I Can't Believe You" feature such a natural groove that instantly hits you with their melodic hooks and exceptional tight ensemble playing. Guitarist, leader J. Geils gets in some awesome guitar spotlights on the album's title track as well as the sharp and steady "One Last Kiss", while the sentimental soul/groove of "I Don't Hang Around Much Anymore" shows off the group's sense of dynamics and musical dexterity.
Closing with "Jus' Can't Stop Me", which would serve as another rave up, especially in the proceeding concerts that the group would perform, fitting alongside nicely with such live staples as "(Ain't Nothin' But a) House Party", "Southside Shuffle" and "Pack, Fair and Square", they manage to capture some of their live performance energy onto the studio cut of this number with great success. It would take another album before the group found its greatest success in 1981's "Freeze Frame", but "Sanctuary", I think, remains a great album overall with nary a bum tune attached to its near 37 minute length. Great album. 4 solid stars