THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT
As I was about to fall asleep on Monday night, something kept going through my head. NO, not the usual bit involving Campbell Brown, ice skates, and snap peas. I was thinking, "I wish another has-been singer would release another sub-par standards record." Well, I got up on Tuesday morning, and lo and behold, SMOKEY ROBINSON'S "Timeless Love" had hit the streets. I've loved Smokey since forever, and while hardly a has-been, the hits stopped coming in the early 90's. Still, I just wasn't ready or even remotely excited about another standards CD. Then, I read a few reviews all giving kudos to Robinson's execution and performance. I had to hear it for myself.
I'll keep it simple. BUY THIS CD!
Smokey Robinson is nearing 70, yet his voice is as smooth and angelic as it was during his heyday with The Miracles. What "Timeless Love" offers up that so many other recent debacles by Michael Bolton, Rod Stewart, and Carly Simon do not, is class. A small ensemble, tasteful production, and brilliant arrangements create a perfect background for this masterful singer.
Whether Robinson is keeping it straight as he does on "Speak Low, " or mixing it up as he does on "I'm In The Mood For Love," cleverly segueing from the original melody into the James Moody's sax-solo- with-lyrics "Moody's Mood For Love," Smokey grabs the listener and never lets go. Two more highlights are his slow-funk version of "Tea For Two," which could have easily been on a classic soul record from the early 70's, and the absolutely gorgeous take on "Our Love Is Here To Stay," where Robinson's perfect melisma could bitch-slap Mariah all the way back to Syosset.
Don't hesitate. It's Smokey. You know you love him, so why miss out on this 4-star release.