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Album Review

Within seconds of listening to "Move Your Body," the opener to Eternal, the latest by the Isley Brothers, audiences will easily agree — the forefathers of boudoir faire still have it. Forty years in the business have not chiseled away at the talented brothers: Ronald Isley's falsetto is unwavering and remains inimitable in 2001, when the R&B market is saturated. Ernie Isley soars on guitar — "Ernie's Jam" showcases the brother playing soulful and tasty solos, à la Jimi Hendrix — adding further sexiness to this already sensual disc. Cheaters are blatantly busted on the slithering "Contagious," where the rogue-lover is caught in the act. The words coming from the jilted are so vivid and painful. Ronald specifically describes walking toward the bedroom, hearing his lover crying out someone else's name. Ouch. While it's all about sex and pleasing a lover on the arousing "Just Like This," the disc is not just skin on skin. The album poignantly explores commitment on such romantic slow jams as "You're All I Need," "Settle Down," and the title track. An impressive roster of collaborators — writers, performers, and producers — grace Eternal and they span old-school and modern R&B players such as R. Kelly, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Jill Scott. There is nothing groundbreaking on this recording, however, the longtime R&B legends prove they're still very much worth their salt and can keep up very well with the Joneses. Indeed, the Isley Brothers are eternal.


Formed: 1954 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

First formed in the early '50s, the Isley Brothers enjoyed one of the longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music -- over the course of nearly a half century of performing, the group's distinguished history spanned not only two generations of Isley siblings but also massive cultural shifts which heralded their music's transformation from gritty R&B to Motown soul to blistering funk. The first generation of Isley siblings was born and raised in Cincinnati,...
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