Barbara Lee George’s Protected by Love is a gorgeous collection of ten songs with sterling production by bassist Even Steven Levee (long-time member of Moogy Klingman’s Freak Parade). “Unexpected Clarity” has a modern pop elegance, something Sade’ might have wanted to bring into the new millennium in a parallel universe. Track 9 has got to be my favorite – . “Call Me (All You’ve Got To Do Is Call Me)” evoking the theme of Chris Montez’s classic of the same name as well as the Beatles “Anytime At All” – it’s a terrific hook that has real staying power.
With guitarist Al Orlo, a bevy of drummers and percussionists including Andy Bigan (drums), Steve Wolf (drums), Phoenix Rivera (drums), Gerardo Velez (percussion), Miguel Valez (percussion) along with Steve Nichol (Piano) and a host of others a song like “The Truth Behind His Eyes” shimmers with a quasi-Latin groove…but not quite. “Foolish Man” and “Live & Learn” are smart adult contemporary with jazz leanings and superb vocals from Lee George. She has lots of power in the soulful stirrings taking a composition like “Straight From The Heart” into a subtle territory that Pat Benatar could think about exploring. “My Heart Requires You” and other titles with soothing violins and cello give the album an old-world depth, opening track “Laughing” is not the Guess Who tour-de-force, more of a lilting Kenny Rankin-styled pensive piece. What’s missing from the CD Baby site, though, is the overwhelming “Too Young To Die” featuring a lovely gospel chorus a la Edwin Hawkin singers on “Lay Down” (Candles In The Rain) by Melanie or their own “Oh Happy Day”.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.