The O’Jays recently released what they initially announced would be their final studio album, The Last Word, although founding members Eddie Levert and Walter Williams now say there may be more new music to come from the soul legends.
Levert tells ABC Radio that he recently found out The O’Jays’ new recording contract was for seven years, so The Last Word may not be that after all for the group.
Williams, meanwhile, notes that with him and Levert being age 75 and 76, respectively, “God will dictate whether or not it’s our last album…nothing’s guaranteed.”
If The Last Word is The O’Jays’ swan song, the group will be going out on a high note, with a collection of soulful and sometimes topical songs that hold up alongside such classics as “Love Train” and “Backstabbers.”
Among these are the singles “I Got You” and “Stand Up (Show Love),” which offer positive themes while acknowledging the divisive time we’re experiencing.
Williams says he feels “I Got You” delivers “a similar message” to “Love Train.”
“‘I got your back’ — that’s a real positive message,” he notes. “That’s a real statement. For someone to say that and mean it and show it is wonderful.”
As for “Stand Up (Show Love),” Levert says that song’s message is about the importance of people showing compassion for each other in the face of life’s hardships.
“Above the Law,” meanwhile, is perhaps the album’s most political song, offering a pointed critique of the Trump administration. Williams insists, however, “We’re not trying to rile people up. We’re trying to point out the truth, and give you a nice beat to groove to, and learn something while you dance.”
The O’Jays are performing some songs from The Last Word at their 2019 concerts. Here are their current tour dates:
6/15 — St Louis, MO, Fox Theater
6/16 — Macon, GA, Macon City Auditorium
6/18 — Lewiston, NY, Artpark Amphitheater (with Average White Band)
7/11 — Philadelphia, PA, Dell Music Center
7/13 — North Charleston, SC, North Charleston Performing Arts Center
7/26 — Thackerville, OK, WinStar World Casino & Resort
8/3 — Lincoln, CA, Super Soul Fest (with The Whispers, Loose Ends & O’Bryan)
8/9 — Asheville, NC, Biltmore Estate (with Kool & The Gang)
8/11 — San Jose, CA, San Jose Summer Jazz Fest
8/16 — Washington, D.C., Warner Theatre
8/17 — Mashantucket, CT, Grand Theater at Foxwoods Casino (with Kool & The Gang)
8/25 — San Diego, CA, Embarcadero Marina Park South (with The Commodores)
8/30 — Pomona, CA, Los Angeles County Fair
10/5 — Hammond, IN, Horseshoe Casino
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