Vocalist/cornet player Al Basile's longtime friend Duke Robillard gets front cover billing, as well he should, as co-producer and guitarist on this impressive outing. The album, Basile's fifth, was even recorded at the guitarist's Pawtucket, RI studio called the Mood Room, hence the album's title. Musically, it's a combination of old-school R&B ("Baby Sister," "Be a Woman"), swamp-tinged rock & roll ("I'm in a Mood"), mid-tempo, Chuck Berry styled groovers ("Coffee and Cadillacs"), grinding blues ("Picked to Click") and even a jump blues throwback to the duo's Roomful of Blues days ("She's on the Mainline"). Robillard keeps the sound full yet stripped down – most of the tracks feature a standard three-piece – bass/drums/guitar setup – which leaves space for Basile's sly vocals and snappy lyrics. Basile, a teacher and fiction author who also has a Master's degree in creative writing, not surprisingly crafts lyrics that are far more imaginative and original than most blues artists'. But they never detract from these melodies that glide along sparked by Robillard's tasty licks.
Spanning two discs and over two decades' worth of music, Alabama's In the Mood: The Love Songs collects the most romantic moments from the band's body of work, including "Close Enough to Perfect," "Feels So Right," "How Do You Fall in Love," and "The Closer You Get." Indeed, love songs play a fairly significant part in the band's career – many of the tracks included here, such as "Fallin' Again," "Touch Me When We're Dancing," "Lady Down on Love," and "In Pictures," also appear on For the Record, Alabama's collection of chart-topping singles. All of this means In the Mood: The Love Songs is a consistent collection of the band's easygoing, sentimental songs, and while it doesn't replace a more straightforward greatest-hits compilation, it should please the band's fans as well as anyone partial to romantic country.