Strong Persuader (Released Nov 17, 1986) by Robert Cray isn’t pretending to be anything it is not. Robert Cray makes us believe he is not playing the part of the everyman, but he is one.
There is no ideology on this album. It is one man telling his story, like it is. This is one down to earth, bluesy man who needs something to get through the day.
Whether this is the real Robert Cray or a persona, well, either way, what’s here is convincing, simply well-told, and musically it hits the spot for what it is.
A sense of the raw rather than the tender comes through. Yet I would have second thoughts about being a relationship breaker on the track Right Next Door (Because of Me) but there is also a song about being the victim in a relationship (I Showed Her).
As on all the songs, Cray sings about situations as someone’s real life, whether it hurts or it’s hard or it is playing the part of the strong persuader getting the girl in a rather dubious situation. From a Christian perspective, he should be going the other way rather than heading long into a romantic situation. Yet I’ve heard it before, he got to get through the day…
One knows there is emotion involved in subtle ways which tends to rise to the surface.
Moral compromises aside, an album of cool musical persuasion not recommended for the moral compromises. It is a piece of good blues where Cray has etched an unmistakable persona of the simple, earthy man. This raw simple man persona reminded me of someone I used to know…he went the other way although the kind of persona remains the same.
This album is not soulful stuff, need I say, but just well done for what it is.