Various Artists

Free Soul: The Classics of 60s Motown

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With a title as generic (albeit grammatically misguided) as Free Soul: The Classics of 60s Motown, you'd be forgiven for assuming this is yet another uninspired Motown compilation featuring the same Supremes', Temptations' and Four Tops' hits available on every other anthology. But the Free Soul series never takes the easy way out: Its approach to classic soul is consistently insightful and reliably eccentric, always forgoing the tried and true to dig up rare singles, deep album cuts and unreleased tracks to deliver a fresh new perspective on music you thought you knew inside and out. So instead of getting Stevie Wonder doing "Fingertips, Part 2," we get "Love a Go Go"; instead of "The Tracks of My Tears," we get Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "More Love"; and instead of Brenda Holloway's "Every Little Bit Hurts," we get the sumptuous and long-unreleased "All Your Love." If you're looking for a standard-issue Motown retrospective, this is by no means the place to go, but if you've tired of the familiar hits yet still crave the Motown Sound at its peak, this is a near-perfect distillation of what made the label so great -- even its cast-offs are timeless.