A pair of Mercury Records gems from the Bar
– back to back on a single CD! Light Of Life is proof that even a move to a major label couldn't keep the Bar
down – as the group are working here in a great groove that's wider, fresher, and stronger overall than any of their Stax albums! Sure, the whole thing's not guitar-based funk all the way through, but the group are also maturing, and really opening up a lot – working equally well on ballads and mellower midtempo numbers, as they were on the still tight funkier tracks. The overall sound is almost that of the Ohio Players when they moved to Mercury, but without the chart hits, and more of a focus on working at a level that's even higher than before! The band still jams it hard on the funky cut "Give It Up", but also kicks back with some beautiful harmony vocals on "I Lean On You/
You Lean On Me", get some great pop hooks in on "Shine", and come together nicely on the tracks "We're The Happiest People In The World", "Angel Eyes", "Are You Being Real", and "Love's What It's All About". Injoy is later Bar
at their best – still plenty funky, but also working in a smoothly soulful style that became the group's trademark sound at Mercury! The album's got a real bass-heavy appeal from the start – working in a mode that shares a lot with Cameo, The Gap Band, and some of the other mainstream funk acts at the time – yet which still occasionally shows the group's roots in the rougher Memphis scene. There's actually some great ballads on the album alongside the funk – tunes that sweeten the set nicely, and provide a good counterpoint to the more uptempo numbers. Titles include "Girl I'm On Your Side", "More & More", "Running In & Out Of My Life", "You've Been", and "Up In Here".