Teddy Pendergrass

Greatest Slow Jams

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Greatest Slow Jams' 12 tracks cover the years 1977-1981. This is illuminating in the sense that, with all of his better ballads together, this proves how much of a warm and effective balladeer Pendergrass is and a natural choice for a compilation like this. While the first track, "Somebody Told Me," is actually a so-so gospel paean, this set does eventually live up to its title. The steamy "Turn Off the Lights" has a come-on so broad you can hear Pendergrass doing the whole thing with a sense of humor rather than bravado. That important and singular characteristic is also apparent on the beautifully arranged "Come Go With Me," where Pendergrass all but begs a woman to come home and continues to even after she said yes. "Can't We Try" and the phenomenal "Love T.K.O." from his finest album, 1980's TP, sound great here. Like better compilations, this brings forth a track that was often lost in the shuffle. The poignant "You're My Latest and Greatest Inspiration" shows up here remastered with all of the warmth missing from the previous mixes. One surprise for his fans, "Now Tell Me That You Love Me," is from 1982's vault effort, This One's for You. The song has a delicate country-styled motif with Pendergrass talking through a lot of it, as he makes even the most stale sentiments ring true. Although this lacks the variety of Pendergrass's releases of the time, this comes very close.

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