Fats Domino - This Is Fats (1957), 3/10

This Is Fats is characterized by decent playing backed with passionless vocals that become grating after repeatedly empty performances. This is truly background music; you could put this on your stereo and not realize much of anything has taken place until it was over. There are some simple, fun tunes however and you can hear the proto rock and roll beginning to surface on certain tracks. He seems to shine when he keeps things simple and fun rather than trying anything out of the box, which becomes a major setback at some stage, but since he mostly stays within those parameters, he rarely creates anything offensively poor. Still as a record this is static and unrousing. I don’t care for his ballad style and they are sprinkled in the mix less than sparingly. The strongest is perhaps “Don’t You Hear Me Calling You” with its jovial yet uncommon sound, you can hear some actual genuine inspiration in the composition and performance uncharacteristic amongst the rest of these songs. Even some attempts at eccentricity like “Where Did You Stay” seem forced and contrived, as much of Fats Domino’s work would continue to be over the years. This Is Fats can be fun and pleasant at its best, yet frustratingly half-baked and obtuse at its worst.