BGO's 2015 three-fer combines the first three albums Earl Klugh recorded for Warner in the '80s: 1985's Soda Fountain Shuffle, 1986's Life Stories, and 1989's Solo Guitar. On Soda Fountain Shuffle, Klugh began relying on synthesized instruments -- tight, sequenced rhythms are just the tip of the iceberg; apart from his guitar, the rest of the instruments are all synths -- a decision that keeps the record feeling somewhat insular despite its overarching lightness. Life Stories retains the synthesizers but it gets a little warmer, adding backing vocals and the occasional live instrument, all in a move to help push the record closer to quiet storm. Although sometimes the sound is a shade glassy, Life Stories nevertheless succeeds: it's a nice, warm, grooving little record. Nevertheless, the jewel of this set is Solo Guitar, where Klugh relies on just his acoustic guitar and strolls through standards, every one of its songs being an undubbed first take. It's sweet and intimate and showcases the guitarist at his best.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2