Terry Callier Lookin' Out

Chicago soul man Terry Callier shows that he’s still got something meaningful to contribute some forty years after breaking onto the music scene. On his latest opus, aptly titled Lookin' Out, Callier delivers a cohesive blend that is equal parts poignant social commentary, soulful love ballad and testifying blues tale, with the composure of a man who’s seen it all and has lived to smile about it. He conjures up memories of Gil Scott Heron, speaking of the plight of those who struggle daily against all that is ailing modern society on "What About Me,” and about a lonesome everyman travelling a lonely road on "Midnite Mile.” A good portion of the album is turned over to professions of love, with Callier’s smooth and knowing voice conveying a feeling truly content in the only place he would ever want to be, and he even offers a rendition of the Beatles’ "And I Love Her” completely drenched soul. Musically, the feeling here is definitely after hours, save for a few upbeat cuts, but the singer more than compensates with enough character to save this disc from an immediate "quiet storm” relegation. (Universal)