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Love Talk

The Stylistics

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Album Review

Although they were at least 14 years past their creative and commercial peak when the small, Buffalo-based Amherst label released Love Talk in 1990, the Stylistics proved that they could still be enjoyable on this decent release. The CD isn't in a class with their remarkable work with Thom Bell and Linda Creed in the mid-'70s, but it isn't anything to be ashamed of either. "I Don't Need This" finds the group embracing new jack swing (and even doing some rapping!) with surprisingly unpretentious results, but for the most part, the Philadelphians don't go out of their way to appeal to 1990's urban contemporary market. Silky offerings like "I Just Don't Know What to Do," "Me - U equals Blue" and a cover of the Willie Nelson hit "Always On My Mind" aren't all that different from the type of sweet soul they were embracing 17 years earlier. Russell Thompkins' falsetto had held up well over the years, and he could still be quite charismatic. But the little-known CD was pretty much ignored by urban radio, and in fact, many diehard Stylistics fans didn't even know that it existed.

Biography

Formed: 1968 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

After the Spinners and the O'Jays, the Stylistics were the leading Philly soul group produced by Thom Bell. During the early '70s, the band had 12 straight Top Ten hits, including "You Are Everything," "Betcha by Golly, Wow," "I'm Stone in Love With You," "Break Up to Make Up," and "You Make Me Feel Brand New." Of all their peers, the Stylistics were one of the smoothest and sweetest soul groups of their era. All of their hits were ballads, graced by the soaring falsetto of Russell Thompkins,...
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Love Talk, The Stylistics
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