Replacing Ace's previous 1994 collection Then & Now, which split the difference between Mary Love's Modern sides from the '60s and recently recorded spiritual material from the '80s and '90s, the 2014 collection is certainly a better showcase for Love's talents, as it concentrates on material made for Modern, Josie, Elco, and Generation between 1965-1975, adding two 1977 selections for Magic Disc and two cuts apiece from 1987 and 1994. Unlike Then & Now, which hopscotched between the decades, this is sequenced chronologically, so it's possible to hear her progress from a starlet groomed in the vein of Motown to a bunch of other similar-sounding uptown pop-soul before she dabbled in smooth soul at the conclusion of the '70s and then turned to brittle-sounding contemporary gospel. In every setting, Love acquits herself well, if not with particular distinction. Depending on the setting, she can sound a bit like Mary Wells or Barbara Lewis, and when teamed with the right song or even production, the results are pleasing; this is especially true of the Modern sides, some of which have become Northern soul favorites. Generally, though, this is amiable period soul that has all the comforting hallmarks of an era without being memorable.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: Mary Love Comer