Motown Two

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Given the unexpected success he had with 2003's Motown collection, it's no surprise that blue-eyed soul crooner Michael McDonald reentered the vaults of Hitsville U.S.A. for further inspiration. As was the case with its predecessor, Motown Two draws primarily from the Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder canons, while also making room for such seminal Motown composers as Smokey Robinson and the legendary Holland/Dozier/Holland songwriting team. The former Doobie Brothers frontman applies himself especially well on fare by his icon, Gaye, honoring him with a lush swing through "What's Goin' On," as well as a subtle, samba-infused "Mercy, Mercy Me" and a reading of "Baby ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Given the unexpected success he had with 2003's Motown collection, it's no surprise that blue-eyed soul crooner Michael McDonald reentered the vaults of Hitsville U.S.A. for further inspiration. As was the case with its predecessor, Motown Two draws primarily from the Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder canons, while also making room for such seminal Motown composers as Smokey Robinson and the legendary Holland/Dozier/Holland songwriting team. The former Doobie Brothers frontman applies himself especially well on fare by his icon, Gaye, honoring him with a lush swing through "What's Goin' On," as well as a subtle, samba-infused "Mercy, Mercy Me" and a reading of "Baby I'm for Real" smothered in organ and just a dash of falsetto. Whereas Motown featured instrumental accompaniment by Fourplay, Two features a couple of surprise collaborations: Toni Braxton sounds like a throatier Diana Ross to her silver-haired counterpart's soulful Gaye on "Stop, Look, Listen To Your Heart," and Stevie Wonder peppers a funky rendition of his "I Was Made to Love Her" with his distinctive harmonica sound. A longtime Motown devotee, McDonald once again uses his undeniable talents to pay homage to the considerable legacy established by the "Sound of Young America."
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Michael McDonald's 2003 album of Motown covers, modestly titled Motown, was his biggest hit in well over a decade, so it only made sense that he returned with a sequel to the record a little over a year later -- after all, might as well strike while the iron is hot. Logically titled Motown Two, the album follows the same blueprint as the first record, offering highly polished, professionally produced, expertly performed interpretations of gems from the Motown vaults; it's the sound of young America in the '60s reinterpreted for the adults of the new millennium. While the sound is the same, there are a couple of important differences this time around. First of all, there are a few celebrity cameos, a sign that this project has a higher profile than the first Motown record. These cameos -- Billy Preston on "You're All I Need to Get By," Stevie Wonder playing harmonica on his own "I Was Made to Love Her," a duet with Toni Braxton, "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)" -- all fit seamlessly into the album, and actually enrich it, giving it a warm, open-hearted feel, which is also reflected in a looser performance from McDonald himself. Last time, he was in typically fine voice, but here he really digs into the songs, making this a better listen in terms of sheer performance, but what really distinguishes this album -- and what makes it different from its predecessor -- is that there's a slightly adventurous streak in the choice of songs. There are big hits here, to be sure -- "Reach out, I'll Be There," "Baby I Need Your Lovin'," "Tracks of My Tears," "What's Goin' On," "Nowhere to Run" -- but McDonald has also dug out some lesser-known tunes like "Tuesday Heartbreak," "After the Dance," and "Baby I'm for Real" that make this album a richer, more enjoyable listen than before. It's the rare sequel that improves on the original. [This edition contains an additional CD of bonus material.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/10/2006
  • Label: Universal Uk
  • UPC: 602498695234
  • Catalog Number: 9869523

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 You're All I Need to Get By
  2. 2 I Was Made to Love Her
  3. 3 Reach Out, I'll Be There
  4. 4 Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)
  5. 5 Baby I Need Your Lovin'
  6. 6 Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
  7. 7 The Tracks of My Tears
  8. 8 What's Goin' On
  9. 9 I Second That Emotion
  10. 10 After the Dance
  11. 11 Nowhere to Run
  12. 12 Tuesday Heartbreak
  13. 13 Mercy Mercy Me
  14. 14 Baby I'm for Real
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Michael McDonald Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals
Billy Preston Hammond Organ
Lenny Castro Percussion
Bernie Chiaravalle Guitar (Nylon String)
Simon Climie Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Vinnie Colaiuta Drums
Nathan East Bass
Abraham Laboriel Sr. Acoustic Guitar, Bass
Audrey Martells Background Vocals
Shandra Penix Background Vocals
Tony Swain Synthesizer, Clavinet
Sharon White Background Vocals
Stevie Wonder Harmonica
Michael Hart Thompson Guitar
Lawrence Johnson Background Vocals
Kevin Whalum Background Vocals
Tim Carmon Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer
Yvette Preyer Background Vocals
Toby Baker Keyboards
Darwin Hobbs Background Vocals
Sherrie Kibble Background Vocals
Tamar Braxton Background Vocals
Abe Laboriel Jr. Drums
Nicky "Misschief" Shaw Percussion, Drums
Kimberly Mont Background Vocals
Kendra Carr Background Vocals
Rachel Oteh Background Vocals
Drea Rhenee Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Ivory Joe Hunter Composer
Marvin Gaye Composer
Smokey Robinson Composer
Barrett Strong Composer
Lee Garrett Composer
Jerry Ross Composer
T-Boy Ross Composer
Nick Ashford Composer
Thom Bell Composer
Renaldo Benson Composer
Al Cleveland Composer
Simon Climie Arranger, Programming, Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing
Henry Cosby Composer
Linda Creed Composer
Lamont Dozier Composer
Shannon Forrest Engineer, Digital Editing
Ben Fowler Engineer
Gwen Fuqua Composer
Kenny Gamble Composer
Anna Gordy Gaye Composer
Eddie Holland Composer
Brian Holland Composer
Nick Ingman String Arrangements
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Warren "Pete" Moore Composer
Don Murray Engineer
Allen Sides Engineer
Valerie Simpson Composer
Tony Swain Executive Producer
Norman Whitfield Composer
Stevie Wonder Composer
Gavyn Wright String Conductor
Syreeta Wright Composer
Yvonne Wright Composer
Leon Ware Composer
Grady Walker Engineer
Marvin Tarplin Composer
Michael Wilson Cover Photo
Adam Brown Engineer, Digital Editing
Sandra Greene Composer
Toby Baker Arranger, Programming
Arthur Ross Composer
Lula Mae Hardaway Composer
Jonathan Shakhovskoy Digital Editing
Nicky "Misschief" Shaw Arranger, Programming, drum programming, beats
Joel Evenden Digital Editing
Lisa Patton Brown Personal Assistant
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