Ace's second collection of Fame recordings by Dan Penn equals the first from 2012, and part of the reason for its success is that it shifts ever so slightly away from material popularized by other singers. Close to Me: More Fame Recordings still essentially consists of exceptionally well-produced publishing demos -- songs written by Penn, often with a couple of other writers, notably Spooner Oldham and David Briggs -- and cut at FAME with the finest musicians the studio had to offer. Consequently, these 24 tracks don't feel like demos: they feel like fully formed recordings. Certainly, Penn and the FAME crew aren't tossing these songs away -- they want to turn these into hits, so they're putting their all into the rhythms and performances, so these songs feel like buried treasures instead of archival asides. As Close to Me rolls along, it feels like a lost treasure: unheard songs from perhaps the greatest songwriter at FAME, played with the house band and with a singer who is among the greatest blue-eyed soul vocalists. It's hard to resist.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine