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Issue 1088

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Review

Smokey Robinson: Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Smokey Robinson: Time Flies When You're Having Fun

 

6.0

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UK release date 19.10.2009

Smokey said the cd came about because that’s how he feels about life right now, and the fact that he’s celebrating his and Motown’s 50th anniversary. Does he need an excuse to record? Nah!

For this release on the Robso label (merging his first and last names), Mr Robinson is joined by Joss Stone on 'You’re The One For Me' which is the fourth track in and livens up his introduction a smidge because he’s got someone to bounce off, against an easy chugging tune. The opening track is the cd’s title (moreorless); it’s understated, with Smokey’s soft, shakey falsetto vocals, against a sparse backing with a late night guitar in the background.

Once the mood is set, you easily slip into 'Don’t Know Why' which he’s loved since he first heard it sung by Norah Jones. It’s a love song of the highest order, with tinges of sadness and regret, with a melody to melt the heart. Whoops, I digressed. India.Arie, who was introduced to Smokey by Stevie Wonder, also guests on the final track 'You’re Just My Life' a fusion of romantic soul, while Carlos Santana helps out on 'Please Don’t Take Your Love'.

Listening to this cd as a whole as I am now, I’m reminded of Smokey’s history, his huge contribution to music as a whole, and him as a man. He may have passed his creative peak, but there’s nobody to touch him as a lyricist and melody composer. He sounds as relevant today as he did back in the day, and for goodness sake, hasn’t his music laid the foundation for many an aspiring singer over the years? Michael Jackson, for one. He learned from the master, and when he died last July, Smokey wanted to pay tribute. Subsequently, an unlisted 'I Want You Back' has been included here. And it’s a gem. Smokey has given so much, and still gives. OK, so his recorded output over the last few years may have been spasmodic, to say the least, but what he does release is a blessing.
Words SHARON DAVIS

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