The Rascals - See

The Rascals - See
Release Date:
December 15, 1969
Blue-Eyed Soul, Soul, AM Pop

Scaling back from their musically adventurous tomes Once Upon a Dream and Freedom Suite, the Rascals closed out the 1960s by narrowing their focus to what they did best: writing tough, tight, soul-rock tunes (and a few others). Whereas co-lead vocalist Eddie Brigati had been the songwriting partner of organist/vocalist Felix Cavaliere throughout the band's tenure to that point, and especially from Groovin' through Freedom Suite, his role in the band had been reduced here to being a harmony vocalist with only a single lead and co-write on the session. Cavaliere wrote the lion's share of the tunes with a couple from guitarist Gene Cornish and a cover. That's not to say the music here is without merit -- from the opening two cuts, the title track with its pile-driving rhythm and B-3 bashing to the sweet, soul-rock of "I'd Like to Take You Home" -- this is evident. But whoever told these cats they could sing country, as they attempt on Cornish's "Remember Me," in which Cavaliere sounds like warmed over Mike Nesmith, is anybody's guess.

"I'm Blue," co-written by Brigati, holds its soul-blues groove deep in the pocket. Ray Charles' inspiration comes to the fore here and it works like a charm. The musical adventure of East Meets Western groove is dropped in the center of "Stop and Think," and the cover of "Temptation's Bout to Get Me," carries the blue-eyed soul groove to the pinnacle.

Likewise, "Real Thing" captures the euphoric Rascals' chorus line soul at its best. The set closes with a screamer in "Hold On," with a raw, rowdy, soul, garage-band rip. With Arif Mardin enlisted as co-producer, the band also relied on the session musician talents of Ron Carter and Chuck Rainey on bass, as well as flutist Hubert Laws to round out the picture. But, while See sounded more like an updated version of the Rascals of old, the consistency of attack wasn't there and there are several simply dodgy cuts, making the album -- as an album -- a disappointment.

See / Felix CavaliereThe Rascals5:04
I'd Like to Take You Home / Felix CavaliereThe Rascals2:37
Remember Me / Gene CornishThe Rascals2:12
I'm Blue / Eddie Brigati / Felix CavaliereThe Rascals3:51
Stop and Think / Felix CavaliereThe Rascals4:10
Temptation's 'Bout to Get Me / James DiggsThe Rascals3:31
Nubia / Felix CavaliereThe Rascals3:44
Carry Me Back / Felix CavaliereThe Rascals2:53
Away Away / Gene CornishThe Rascals3:26
Real Thing / Felix CavaliereThe Rascals2:45
Death's Reply / Felix CavaliereThe Rascals4:19
Hold On / Felix CavaliereThe Rascals3:37