The Isley Brothers

Beautiful Ballads, Vol. 2

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With a recording legacy that spans five decades, the Isley Brothers have excelled in genres ranging from straight gospel to disco to hard-hitting funk, and while they have remade their image several times over in various family configurations, the music has remained at a consistently high level. The group's best-known hits have tended to be upbeat dance numbers, but the Isley Brothers' secret strength may well be their way with slow burning love ballads. This set of love songs, drawn from material recorded between 1972 and 1983 (with 1985's "Insatiable Woman" from splinter group Isley/Jasper/Isley thrown in as a closer) for the group's own T-Neck label, gathers up key tracks like the two-part "For the Love of You," "Between the Sheets" and the epic ten-minute-plus "It's Too Late," which were left off of the first volume. This isn't the whole story, obviously, since the Isley Brothers were recording gorgeous love ballads before this time period and continued doing it afterward, as well, but it is a nice taste of the gentle and sentimental side of the group. The obvious move now is to combine the two volumes into a single set.

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