Drawing on his hugely successful "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" formula, producer/songwriter Norman Whitfield used an almost identical construction on "Masterpiece." Although another Top Ten smash, the Temptations apparently began to feel like "the Norman Whitfield singers." The haunting, omnipresent bass line, backed by some Latin rhythms, drives the song, and this is topped with, again, steely strings and wah-wah guitar. Lyrically, it's also a portrait of the urban environment at the dawn of the 1970s, with gang activity, theft, and drug abuse running rampant. Although it could be considered a "part two" of the aforementioned "Papa," the song has actually aged very well, and is as powerful today as it was in 1972.