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The Solo Albums, Vol. 6

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Album Review

Vol. 6 of Smokey Robinson's solo albums pairs 1980's Warm Thoughts with Being with You. Arriving on the heels of the very successful Where There's Smoke..., Warm Thoughts follows the same blueprint, perhaps muting the cheerful tempos just slightly, letting itself drift toward ballads with an elongated pulse, but there's still plenty of cheerful disco and bright pop here, making it easy to enjoy. Being with You expands upon the sound of Warm Thoughts by borrowing some of Quincy Jones' enthusiastic innovations, threading in some new wave synths for good measure. Some of the record is a little thin — its closing "I Hear the Children Singing" is quite sappy — but it is anchored by the immortal quiet storm title track, and such moments as "Can't Fight Love" illustrate that Smokey was still adept at shaping the styles to his sound.

Biography

Born: 19 February 1940 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

Berry Gordy founded Motown Records, but one could argue that Smokey Robinson was the man who first pushed America's most iconic soul music label toward greatness. As the leader of the Miracles, Robinson was one of the very first artists signed to the fledgling label in 1959, and while he racked up many hits for it with the Miracles and as a solo act, Robinson was also an invaluable behind-the-scenes talent who wrote songs, produced records, scouted and groomed talent, and served as a vice president...
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The Solo Albums, Vol. 6, Smokey Robinson
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