Mel & Tim

Mel & Tim

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Although it wasn't released long after Mel & Tim's big 1972 hit "Starting All Over Again," the duo's self-titled album (their second for Stax) wasn't a commercial success. It has a little more personality than the average LP issued by Stax in its final years, but not that much more. Largely comprised of material from Prince Philip Mitchell (who wrote "Starting All Over Again"), and co-produced by Barry Beckett and Roger Hawkins (who also played on the record) of Muscle Shoals Sound, it's fairly smooth early-'70s duo-sung soul. The stirring, socially wary "Same Folk," which seems a bit influenced by the kind of thing Bill Withers was doing around the same time, is a highlight, despite its similarity to "Starting All Over Again." The opener, "Keep the Faith" (written by Mark James, most famous for composing Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds"), is also among the stronger tracks due to its inspirational tone and intricate layered arrangement. Much of the rest of the album is standard '70s romantic soul, with a gentler, more subdued feel than the typical Stax production. Mild funk permeates "Making Love Is My Thing," which cuts to the chase much more quickly than the infinite number of similar soul songs, declaring "partying, well, it's all right, but I don't like to party all night" before the instruments swell and the woman backup singers announce, "making love is my thing."

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