When you live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you wake up everyday and it’s beautiful outside. When you live in the Pacific Northwest, summer stops by for two months or so. The rest of the year you wake up and it’s gray, dreary and rainy outside.
That’s why I like Babadu. His music is sunny (do I use that term too much?), and it’s reminiscent of the happy, heavenly sound of Stevie Wonder, whose songs are always full of joy (or joyous sorrow). Babadu even grunts and shouts, just like Stevie. One listen and I feel like smiling—even if the blue sky is nowhere to be seen in Portland, Oregon.
His LP was produced by Kirk Thompson, one of the original members of Kalapana. Thompson’s “All I Got to Give” stands out as one of the best tracks on the album. It’s a jazzier, cooler version than Lemuria’s (whose LP Thompson also produced). But unlike Lemuria’s female vocalist, Babadu sounds like he really believes in this song. His voice convinces me that his soul is reaching out with every lyric. While the Lemuria version is funky, it doesn’t move me emotionally (it’ll get me dancing though).