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Cuban Roots; Faces

Through them all there is a palpable camaraderie that's almost unrivaled in rock and roll. This was a group that played together, in every sense of the word, with Wood's chunky chords and hair-raising slide guitar melding with Lane's Motownish bass burblings, and McLagan and Jones holding down a rhythm that was powerful enough to knock you over, but loose enough that it threatened to tumble down at any minute. Meanwhile rough-grained vocalists Stewart and Lane complemented each other: the former with his rugged, soul-steeped wails and plaintive croon, the latter with an unvarnished tone and humble phrasing that turned ballads such as "Debris" into evocative, aching tearjerkers.

Sadly Stewart's colossally successful solo career put a strain on this seemingly inseparable unit, with Lane departing in 1973 and Wood joining the Stones the following year. By 1975 Faces called it quits, leaving Stewart to squander his massive talents on the unctuous likes of "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" and "Infatuation." Listening today to Good Boys ... When They're Asleep ..., that waste is even more galling and depressing, for as Dave Marsh points out in the set's excellent liner notes, they don't make rock bands like Faces anymore. -- John Floyd

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