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Ain't No Backin' Up Now
Isis

Buddah BDS5605
Released: December 1974

Carol McDonaldOne of the early hopes for a female-based, and implicitly feminist, women's band, Isis started stridently with its first album. Isis left room for development, even if it is wholly pedestrian. But instead of developing, Isis was sent to New Orleans to be remade by Allen Toussaint. Ain't No Backin' Up Now is predictably polished, and quite competent, Toussaint funk, but leader Carol McDonald might as well be anyone from the sound of it, and that betrays the group's original content. * *

- Bart Testa, The Rolling Stone Record Guide

On their Shadow Morton-produced debut this brassy ten-woman ensemble sounded like a cross between Vanilla Fudge and the Mount St. Mary's College Lab Band, but here Allen Toussaint's horn arrangements cut a channel for their melodrama. As is usual on Toussaint albums, the side that features his songs is a lot stronger than the side that features the band's. Now if only he could describe lesbian life as knowledgeably as Carol McDonald in "Bobbie and Maria" or Jeanie Fineberger in "Eat the Root." But that would be a lot to ask. B

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

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