The Temptations

Ear: Resistible

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Ear-Resistible marks the 57th album for R&B/pop's most popular and star-crossed groups. Although many people may still have an image of one particular Temptations lineup, the 1964-1968 group, the group has persevered over everything from exiting members to label indifference. Their 1997 CD Phoenix Rising was their first CD to ever go platinum. But the effort found the group playing it too safe. With Ear-Resistible the group turns in its strongest set since 1984's Truly for You. The first song, "I'm Here," produced by R&B crooner Joe sets the stage for an infinitely likeable album. With a dramatic arrangement and confident vocals, led by smooth tenor Terry Weeks, it's a mix of a timely production well rooted in the mechanics of classic R&B male group singing. Songs like "Your Love" and "Selfish Reasons" are in the same neo-classic, back to the future vein. But what makes Ear-Resistible is a trio of skillfully arranged ballads that pit Ron Tyson's starry-eyed falsetto to Barrington Henderson's raspy tenor. From the sensual "Kiss Me Like You Miss Me" to the adultery/late-night sneaking lyrics of "It's Alright to Be Wrong," the group effortlessly trades leads all the while creating intricate harmonies. The CD's best track, the Gerald Levert-produced "Proven and True" is a steady and sure ballad that plays on the chemistry between Tyson and Henderson. Co-executive produced by Kedar Massenburg and Otis Williams, Ear-Resistible proves that you don't need rap cameos or expletives to make a great R&B album.

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