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VA – Masterpieces of Modern Soul, Vol. 2

Posted in: May 01, 2010

VA - Masterpieces of Modern Soul, Vol. 2
VA – Masterpieces of Modern Soul, Vol. 2
Tracks: 24 VBR/44.1kHz/Joint Stereo 78:44 min 102.3MB
Genre: Soul, Oldies

These two dozen tracks aren\’t masterpieces of modern soul. They\’re just rare soul recordings spanning the late 1960s to the early \’80s — some of them previously unreleased, and some of them not first issued until the \’90s or 2000s — though the bulk of them are from the \’70s. You might recognize a name here or there if you\’re a big soul fan, but Garland Green and jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard (here represented by a 1981 cut featuring vocalist Jeanie Tracy) are the only big ones, even if a few artists (like Laura Lee, the Ovations, and Ty Karim) had their flashes of success and subsequent cult followings. There\’s even a song credited to \”Unknown Artist\” that sounds about as professional as everything else on the disc. (And no, the vocal group called the Pretenders is not the same as Chrissie Hynde\’s outfit!) It\’s sort of like what a subscription-only radio service might play if they had dedicated \”Deep Tracks\” programming for \’70s soul, very much capturing the feel of \’70s soul trends without presenting any familiar songs. Like numerous other Ace soul various-artists anthologies with a generally similar mission, there\’s nothing that sticks out as a neglected classic or should-have-been hit. Taking it for what it\’s worth, however, it\’s a pleasant and nicely varied selection that captures the mood of the era, with many of the stylistic signatures of \’70s pop-leaning soul — the Stevie Wonder \”Superstition\”-like riff in Lynn Varnado\’s \”Staying at Home Like a Woman,\” for instance — presented and accounted for. Clipped funk riffs, soaring strings, good-natured singing (even when the topics are somewhat sad), modest wah-wah guitar, affable gospel-funk-flavored songwriting, and cooing group harmonizing all crop up too. It\’s not an earthshaker, but it\’s a welcome entry in a CD reissue niche that stripmines \’60s soul far more than soul from the following decade, largely avoiding the too-slick production afflicting much \’70s soul (Garland Green\’s disco-tinged 1983 cut \”Always\” being an unfortunate exception). ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide


01. Grover Mitchell – What Hurts 2:54
02. Johnny Watson – It\’s Better To Cry 2:49
03. Ty Karim – Lightin\’ Up 3:15
04. The Pretenders – A Broken Heart Cries 3:02
05. The Ovations feat Louis Williams – I\’m In Love 2:39
06. Betty Fikes – The Fool Who Used To Live Here 2:47
07. Bobby Burn aka Bobby Wilburn – I\’m A Dreamer 2:15
08. Darrow Fletcher – Hope For Love 3:29
09. Higher Feelings – I Wanna Stay High On You 3:33
10. Freddie Hubbard feat Jeanie Tracy – You\’re Gonna Lose Me 3:43
11. Laura Lee – Your Song 3:27
12. The Mayberry Movement – I Can See Him Loving You 3:38
13. Brenda Wayne – More Than Just Somebody I Know 3:29
14. The Minits – Still A Part Of Me 2:33
15. Towana & The Total Destruction – Wear Your Natural, Baby 3:05
16. Unknow Artist – All In My Mind 2:59
17. The Pacesetters – Lovin\’ 3:56
18. The Radiations – That\’s The Way Our Love Is 2:38
19. The Checkmates LTD – Take All The Time You Need 3:50
20. The Chargers – You Gotta Be A Lady 2:59
21. Act 1 – I Don\’t Want To Know What You Do to Me 3:00
22. Garland Green – Always 4:47
23. Lynn Varnado – Staying At Home Like A Woman 2:50
24. The California Playboys – Double Love 5:07





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