Thursday, April 09, 2009

Ultra High Frequency, "We're on the Right Track": early disco, off Philly Groove: Early Singles Volume 2, features that descending three-note riff played simultaneously on guitar and vibes, then horns, and doubled by the vocal in the middle of the verses--the song's greatest hook isn't even its chorus. The singing is nothing: straining high tenor keening at the notes' edges; the backing singers on the title phrase have far more presence. But that anonymous quality is part of what makes the record transporting: the music is bigger than the singer, something to be swept up in, all those strings and horns (and that quick rhythm guitar lick after the three-notes-down riff) and the choo-chooing rhythm on the drums (which sound fantastic) giving it serious drive. The train noises, of course, link it with other transportation-minded R&B from, at minimum, the '40s on.