• Sam Fleming


“Is It Too Late?” is my favorite song of all time, and I could write for pages about why it’s essential listening for anyone. Duke Edwards was an experimental soul/jazz musician in the mid-1970s who truly pushed the boundaries of the sound. His music mixes poetry, jazz, and funk to create a collage of sounds that push the boundaries of conventional genre. When I managed a bunch of radio shows last semester, this was the one album that I would always make sure to play on the radio every week. “Is It Too Late?" grabs and holds your attention as it takes you through an insane emotional rollercoaster with no clear ending.

Duke Edwards makes music that can’t stay still and all of his songs feel like a giant mix of every genre you could imagine. Even within his wild mix of music, “Is it Too Late?” stands on its own. It’s a 13-minute epic of a song that takes you through a day in the life of the narrator. He witnesses an old man fall down on the street and is amazed that nobody decides to come to help him. He tells this story on the brink of crying, it sounds like this singular event truly impacted his life. The entire message of the track is the question, “is it too late for love?” That question is repeated in many ways and many variations throughout the track.

It’s hard to describe exactly how powerful “Is it Too Late” is as an artistic statement. It comes off as serious without seeming preachy, and political while not making any real political statement. “Is it too Late?” is a song that encourages only love. It sees love as the answer and makes it clear that there is not enough of it in the world right now. I’m not necessarily the type to believe that love is actually the answer, but Duke Edwards certainly makes a powerful case for it.

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