So, instead of introducing this review with a picture of the single cover or the cover of the album from which it comes, I have here included a photograph of Timothy Wilson himself. The reason being that there is so little information floating around the ‘net about Wilson, I simply couldn’t find either of the former two. I don’t even know if this even comes from an album! I know that he released a self-titled album in 1978, following a string of singles released between ’67 and ’69. Thankfully, many of these singles can be found on the compilation titled Masters of Soul: George Kerr – Singles & Rarities, Vol. 2, which can fortunately be found on Spotify. Thus, despite Timothy Wilson being essentially an unknown, long-forgotten relic in the world of 60s and 70s soul (perhaps even more rare than Nathalie is in the 80s synthpop world), I am still able to listen to the song and write about its merits and misgivings.
From the song’s initial kickoff, I am immediately reminded of such Philly Soul artists as The Stylistics and The Delfonics. In particular, this is reminiscent of the former’s “Betcha By Golly, Wow” and the latter’s “La-La Means I Love You”. With that being said, this song is noticeably less graceful and well-structured than either of those songs – which, honestly, is a bit of an unfair comparison, given how highly I already regard the two. I mean, Wilson himself gives a really fine vocal performance, in close parallel to many other R&B vocalists of the day who were much more commercially successful. He really put some real heart and soul into every line he sings, which is always nice to hear. The song is about the speaker’s anxieties over the woman he loves and how she “tells everyone [she doesn’t] want [his] love”, all the while leaving him in the dark about her true feelings. The song revolves around a push-and-pull between her true feelings for him and the influence of others they know, who “said [she] had been there just the other day / Saying that [he] was telling lies”. The chorus is just a repetition of the song’s title, really nailing the point of the song firmly and concretely.
If I had any complaints, it would be that the backing band could be stronger. Throughout the whole track, it sounds like they are struggling to keep up with Wilson’s energy. Although, I’ll have to give props to the bluesy horn riff that punctuates the end of the second chorus and introduces the final verse. Overall, while I am generally a fan of this song, something tells me that this is far from the best work Wilson had ever recorded. I gave a listen to “Baby Baby Please”, one of his better-known songs, and it’s even more twinkly and romantic in its Philly Soul sensibilities. Yet another potential superstar lost in the threads of time, I’m eager to look out for him name again in the future.
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