Spectrum Check

I had another fairly typical week at Spectrum Culture with one full contribution apiece on the film and music sides. For the former, I reviewed a new documentary focused on the heated immigration issue in the United States. Unfortunately, it falls into one of the pitfalls common to modern documentaries: straining to do far too much.

As for music, I reviewed a new compilation of classic, obscure soul music from the generally excellent Now-Again label. As usual, the crate-digger depths of discovery are impressive in the tracks selected, but the intensive focus on ballad-driven, so-called “sweet soul” winds up giving the release a little too much of a samey feel to truly elevate the comp to greatness.

Finally, I pitched in on this week’s List Inconsequential, sorting through the best and worst of Robert De Niro. If pushed, I would assert that he has a higher peak than the one I selected and probably even a lower low (although I’ve largely given up on trying to follow him through what appear to be even deeper dregs in recent years, so I’m underqualified to offer a definitive statement on the very worst moment), but I wanted to pick a pairing that is sadly linked.