Review : Boyz II Men - Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA
BostonThe Motown catalog is beginning to rival the Great American Songbook in terms of the sheer number of artists taking it on lately. But unlike the standards, which have been twisted into many interesting shapes over the decades, the original Hitsville versions are imprinted on our collective conscious by their enduring omnipresence. Covers often pale in comparison, especially when they hew so closely to the masters, as former Motown artists Boyz II Men prove on their new album. Producer Randy Jackson of "American Idol" fame gives the metronomically perfect work of the top session guys a pretty sheen. And save the Four Tops medley there has yet to be a match for Levi Stubbs - the Boyz sound as strong and harmonious as ever....full text
BillboardResponsible for bestowing incredible harmony upon early-'90s R&B, Boyz II Men always sounded like they were straight outta Motown. So it's only fitting that the quartet would cover classics from their Motown-era predecessors. Here, there are goodies like the Temptations' "Just My Imagination," Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me" and the Miracles' "Tracks of My Tears." While the majority of the cuts expertly merge the group's melodic vocals, the aggressive chants of Edwin Starr's "War" are unbefitting an act known for silky ballads....full text
AllmusicThree years after the all-covers Throwback -- a release that included some pleasantly surprising choices for new looks, like One Way's "Cutie Pie" and Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do for Love" -- Boyz II Men reappear not with yet another covers affair. As indicated by the title, the trio changes its focus to Motown for a set that ranges thematically and chronologically from the Temptations' "Just My Imagination" to Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" to the Commodores' "Easy" -- and, as something of a sly acknowledgment that they were once on Motown themselves, they close out the set with an a cappella version of "End of the Road" (featuring Brian McKnight). Their backing is mostly all-star caliber, including the Dap-Kings Horns, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, percussionist Luis Conte, and string arranger Larry Gold....full text
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