The Impressions: The Girl I Find + Seven Years
From Young Mod’s Forgotten Story (Curtom, 1969)
It took me much longer to track down a copy of this LP that I thought it would but I’m so glad to finally be able to pair it with its sibling, This Is My Country. Both albums share much in common musically and conceptually and track for track, they arguably constitute two of the most consistent albums in the Mayfield-era of the Impressions.
Despite its more esoteric title, there’s a rich earthiness to Young Mod’s appeal. The album has a smart balance of ballads (“Soulful Love”), mid-tempo power tracks (“Young Mod’s Forgotten Story”) and a couple of proto-funk slammers (“Mighty Mighty”). The two songs that stay on my mind (pun intended) include “The Girl I Find,” the album’s best known slow jam, a beautiful ballad distinguished by Mayfield’s signature voice playing off the stirring string accompaniment in the back. I love the swell of horns that enter in around 1:20 and transform the tune’s intimacy into something more epic. (What’s up with the bird coos though?)
“Seven Years” would be a great groover just on the basis on its infectious swing but what seals the deal here for me are the background vocals “woo wooing” behind Curtis as the song opens; it adds this fantastic layer of harmony that showcases the marvelous intricacy of the Impressions’ vocal interplay.