Herbie Hancock (2)Monster
June / July 1980
Note: For this and other "doing-it-for-money" reviews, db used the pseudonym 'Spottswood Erving,' referencing basketball legend Julius "Dr. J" Erving as well as American civil rights attorney and federal judge, Spottswood William Robinson III, appointed by President Johnson in 1966 to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the first African American so appointed.
Columbia JC 36415
By Spottswood Erving
Another gruesome pop disc from Hancock. This one plods on (thump) and on (thump) and on (thwack) with the overproduced gusto of a Disaster Film or beer commercial. (One tune features a “Go For It!” chant.) Anyone who sucked down the hype in last month’s issue (i.e. “beautiful chords and harmony, semi-atonal right hand lines…terrific funk chops that groove you to death…Herbie playing like the Monster whiz kid of old”) please take note: here are four vapid disco tracks—alternately Latinish, funkish, and rockish but never Latin, funk or rock—and two blissed-out, easy listening floaters. One of them, “Making Love,” features a cat named Greg Walker “sensitively” crooning “Riding at a gentle pace / Guide me to your special place / So we can be one.” And Herbie, hiding behind sixteen keyboards, plays nary a (memorable) lick. All in all, a waste of imported crude.