Timeless Love

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ted Panken
Although he's best known as one of the chief architects of the Motown sound, Smokey Robinson grew up in Detroit at a time when the romantic voices of great African-American ballad singers such as Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, and Johnny Mathis dominated the jukeboxes, movie screens, theater stages, and airwaves. Still commanding an effervescent voice at the age of 66, Robinson has decided to revisit the soundtrack of his youth. Timeless Love finds this iconic stylist approaching the Great American Songbook with love, respect, and -- as should be expected -- much soul. Deploying his trademark melisma generously, and framed by plush arrangements, Robinson sings vital ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ted Panken
Although he's best known as one of the chief architects of the Motown sound, Smokey Robinson grew up in Detroit at a time when the romantic voices of great African-American ballad singers such as Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, and Johnny Mathis dominated the jukeboxes, movie screens, theater stages, and airwaves. Still commanding an effervescent voice at the age of 66, Robinson has decided to revisit the soundtrack of his youth. Timeless Love finds this iconic stylist approaching the Great American Songbook with love, respect, and -- as should be expected -- much soul. Deploying his trademark melisma generously, and framed by plush arrangements, Robinson sings vital beauties like "I’m in the Mood for Love," "You Go to My Head," and "Speak Low," evoking the spirit of those classic 1950s artists who moved easily between the worlds of jazz and popular music. Obviously a labor of love, this well-conceived and beautifully performed project was a long time in coming. Hopefully, Robinson will find time to consider a second volume.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Smokey Robinson hasn't had much use for making records since his records stopped selling in significant numbers, which happened as of the early '90s; after that, his only regular album has been 1999's Intimate. But Universal Music's New Door imprint exists for the purpose of making new recordings with veteran artists for whom the major label is the repository for the bulk of their catalogs (think Joe Cocker, Nanci Griffith), and Robinson fits that criterion perfectly, since Universal controls the Motown library. But instead of making an album of new, original songs, Robinson has opted for the hoary concept of "aging rock-era pop star sings pre-rock standards", an idea that was never good to begin with and that should have been buried with the final entry in Rod Stewart's series of atrocities. Happily, Robinson's version turns out to be not half bad. One reason for this is that, unlike Stewart et al., his model is not Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack, but rather some of the jazz singers who also essayed the work of Cole Porter and other pre-1950 songwriters. Robinson seems to have first heard these songs as sung by Ella Fitzgerald (his primary influence), Sarah Vaughan, and Billie Holiday, among others. When he sings "I'm in the Mood for Love," he throws in some of the King Pleasure vocalese on James Moody's jazz interpretation of the song, "Moody's Mood for Love." Robinson is no stranger to the material; he first recorded Kurt Weill's "Speak Low" and Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin" with the Miracles in 1962, and now as a 66-year-old he isn't afraid to take these songs where he wants to take them, i.e., in the direction of his '80s "quiet storm" hits. They are all the better for it. As of 2006, Robinson was spending his time playing the concert halls in the many hotel/casinos around the country; his versions of these standards would be as likely to drawn appreciation in such venues as his old hits.
Rolling Stone - James Hunter
1/2 None can match the creative soul of this thirteen-song set by Smokey Robinson.... The overwhelming aura of the album is neither modern nor vintage. Instead, the music is about the high miracle of Robinson's voice, blazing here with steady flow, detail and invention.
Billboard - Gail Mitchell
There's no denying Robinson's singing talent.

1/2 None can match the creative soul of this thirteen-song set by Smokey Robinson.... The overwhelming aura of the album is neither modern nor vintage. Instead, the music is about the high miracle of Robinson's voice, blazing here with steady flow, detail and invention.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/20/2006
  • Label: New Door Records
  • UPC: 602498559765
  • Catalog Number: 000664102
  • Sales rank: 70,138

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Smokey Robinson Primary Artist, Vocals
Bobby Shew Trumpet
Phil Upchurch Guitar
Tony Lewis Drums
Larry Ball Bass
Paulinho Da Costa Drums
David Garfield Keyboards
Paul Jackson Jr. Guitar
Ricky Lawson Drums
Sonny Burke Piano, Conductor, Vibes
Marvin Tarplin Guitar
Ken Gioffre Flute, Saxophone
Freddie "Ready Freddie" Washington Bass
Ken Rosser Guitar
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Kurt Weill Composer
Cyndi Lauper Composer
Smokey Robinson Arranger, Composer, Producer
Jimmy McHugh Composer
Vincent Youmans Composer
Ogden Nash Composer
Tony Lewis Arranger
Larry Ball Arranger
Irving Caesar Composer
Sammy Cahn Composer
Jimmy Dorsey Composer
Dorothy Fields Composer
David Garfield Arranger
Ira Gershwin Composer
Haven Gillespie Composer
Bernie Grundman Mastering
Rob Hyman Composer
Paul Mertz Composer
Cole Porter Composer
Jule Styne Composer
Harold Wheeler Arranger
Sonny Burke String Arrangements
Edward Eliscu Composer
Billy Rose Composer
Bill Hughes String Contractor
Bart Howard Composer
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