Saturday, November 29, 2014

Commodores, "Easy" (1977)

June 25, 1977, #4

For me, this is not hard. It's "R&B" because it's on the Motown label, but it's adult contemporary to the marrow, proceeding from the lyrical sentiment and carrying all the way through to the surprisingly hard-edged (yet always tasteful, and tasty) guitar solo. It could not have happened in another era and it was perfect for it. Yes, Jake, I know, it's Lionel Richie. And while I have to acknowledge my lack of regard for him and all his projects (but especially his solo projects)—yes, I am one of those—there is no point in denying how wonderful I find this one. It is beautiful, open, rolling, warm, soft, buoyant, and caressing, floating on its own good feeling. It's charged with a sexuality that's healthy and casual, but incidental to its greatest pleasures, the celebrations of the small, treasured moments. (Or so, anyway, I had always taken it, until I read how it's about a guy at peace with having dumped someone, which puts a different spin on it. But too late now!) I memorably heard it in a grocery store once on a Sunday morning and all my life since I have loved to do my grocery shopping on Sunday mornings. In fact, I will probably go grocery shopping tomorrow morning. I forget this song for years at a time and then I happen to hear it again. At this point it might be useful to bring up Keith Carradine's smaller hit of one year earlier, "I'm Easy," but I don't see why, beyond that both use the same word and also both traffic in country and western stylings. There's no contest on this one. It's the Commodores—it's Lionel Richie—all the way. Play again, please.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of those kind of songs that recommends schlock, right? There's a cross-genre, pan-cultural, quality that generally signifies as amorphous pablum but somehow lights up and transcends its genericism.