Little Richard - Here's Little Richard (1957), 5/10

Little Richard was quite a vocal talent, there’s no denying that fact. That does not change that Here’s Little Richard and it’s rock & roll sensibilities are outplayed and exhausted. Even within this track list, songs are practically carbon copied against each other and end up repeatedly enforcing the tiring quality of this uplifting but exhausting album experience. Of course there is not much to be said of the album progression, apart from spreading out the tracks that sound exactly like one another. A lot of criticism I have for Here’s Little Richard has much less to do with performance intensity and style, if any at all, and much more to do with the tired motifs that are battered into monotonous submission from beginning to end. They may be a fun collection of danceable hits, but nothing more. All of the lack of variety aside, Little Richard absolutely rips apart the microphone, showing an incredible amount of passion and even some impressive range. His howls are deep and affecting, and his technicality is notably excellent. Clearly his roaring vocal properties meshed well with a 1957 release, an era that desperately needed his thunderous sound. “Tutti Frutti”’s reputation precedes the entire record, but the rest is less remarkable and, much like other work in the fifties, blends together into obscurity, not making an impact beyond its novel, raucous aesthetic. If you would like to familiarize yourself with early, historically important and funky rock & roll this would be a good place to start.