The Motor City label -- which specializes in new recordings featuring former Motown vocalists -- pays tribute to producer and songwriter Norman Whitfield on this well-meaning but uneven collection. That's Frankie Gaye singing "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," sadly proving he has only a smidgen of the charisma, power, and phrasing ability of his late brother Marvin. The Velvelettes' three sides are not as compelling as the originals; still, they sound good, singing with vigor on "Needle in a Haystack," "He Was Really Saying Something," and "Lonely, Lonely Girl Am I." Ex-Spinner G.C. Cameron's three sides are decent "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby," "Just My Imagination," and "Run Away Child," and his versatile, impressive voice transcends the unimpressive productions. The Undisputed Truth, the Marvelettes, Richard "Popcorn" Wylie, Kim Weston, Billie Calvin, and little-known Vee Allen all perform one song each. This tribute to Norman Whitfield falls a little short, to say the least -- no bag of tricks here. Hearing these classic voices again is a rush, but if you're expecting to hear James Jamerson's wicked basslines, Robert White's shimmering guitar, Benny Benjamin's remarkable drums, or Earl Van Dyke's gifted keyboarding, you will have to look elsewhere.
|Label:||Essential Media Mod|