Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Smokey Robinson - My World - 2005 - Motown

Do NOT, whatever you do, flick past this thinking it's a simple Greatest Hits compilation. Oh, no. There were, hidden away, 2 new songs, both of which are essential. The compilation itself is full of classy and essential material, no questions there, but the concept of this set is very pedestrian, uninspiring and is to me a poor excuse of a release when ALL these songs are available on a million other compilations, and the mindless releases for Motown 50 leave little to inspire us. Anyway - the new songs! Both are sophisticated efforts, and one track in particular has to be the best thing that Smokey has laid down for absolutely years. Although eligible for a bus pass, Smokey looks great and sounds as good as he ever did. These songs kick start the CD and are the equivalent of rocket fuel. The cut "My World" suffers, though from being far too short and leaves me wanting more.

The words that come forth from this Man's pen are as wonderful today as they were back in the 60s and 70s, and what Smokey and William "Mickey" Stevenson have created is a CLASSIC Smokey Robinson track that is so HIM, so Smokey, but also very Y2K as well. The interesting, phased background vocals by Timothy Bloom also add a lot of spice to this song. Boy, this is one essential song - even more essential as this can be purchased very cheaply online from the likes of Amazon.

The track that raises the hair on the back of my neck is "Fallin'". I fell in love with this song and have not stopped playing it since. The voice of an angel, a haunting backing vocal from a group called Remedy and a very basic, stripped down Spartan arrangement all add up to sheer class. This is made for a hot summer's day. In fact, the day this arrived was one of the hottest of that particular year (and those were few and far between!), and it made my skin go cold to hear it!!! Just amazing. Smokey shines so bright on this song. I get so frustrated as I sit here listening to such classy material from the man, and all we have are 2 tracks. Why, oh why can we not have a whole brand new album of material like this? This is what the great man does best, and today we need it more than ever. So how about it? His 2006 CD for New Door contained one new song that you really need to have - "I Love Your Face". Just Smokey and a piano. Devastating. Has me is tears every time I hear it. Please do not overlook this release either.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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