Curtis Mayfield had been in the forefront of Soul music for many years, one of the first artists to promote an overtly political agenda in his music, as well as love songs, first through the Impressions and later as a solo artist. Both sides of Curtis' writing are in evidence on "No Place...".
The opener, Billy Jack, has a stuttering funk groove, and laments the passing of a friend, shot with a hand gun. That funk Groove is also in evidence on "Hard Times, and "Love to the People", both songs which have a message of social justice, although Curtis Mayfield always promoted a theme of self reliance and self determination, which features on virtually every track here.
As for the only love song, "So In Love" is one of my favourite of all Curtis' music - a slow tribute to his lady, with production typical of the man, supporting the music rather than overwhelming it.
This is probably the last great Curtis Mayfield album, although he would produce great music by other artists, notably"Sparkle" by Aretha Franklin. The onrush of Disco had started, and in common with many other artists, Curtis found that the world had no time for a social conscience as a result.
It is true, however, that the series of albums from "Curtis" to this one represent some of the finest Soul music ever produced and stand as a tribute to a fine, and highly under-rated artist.
REVIEWER'S NOTE - I have amended this review after comment. I have no wish to cause offence.