Various Artists

Harmonizingly Yours: Soul Vocal Groups Meeting

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While Harmonizingly Yours: Soul Vocal Groups Meeting doesn't actually document a collaboration or meeting of any of the featured groups, this collection does feature 16 prime examples of '70s soul as compiled by Tetsuya Murakami of the Gospellers, who are apparently a Japanese tribute band who pay homage to artists like the Dramatics, Chi-Lites, and Stylistics, all of whom appear here. While Murakami's name may not hold much significance outside of Japan (and neither may the all-Japanese liner notes and essay "Me and Vocal Groups"), he did a good job of mixing tracks from well-known and relatively obscure Stax/Volt groups together. The Dramatics' "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" and the Stylistics' "Rock Steady" are examples of the former, while the long version of the Temprees' "Dedicated to the One I Love" and Mystique's "Somebody Somebody to Love Me" define the latter. Though the collection doesn't feature many definitive songs from most of the groups, songs like the Chi-Lites' "A Letter to Myself," the Impressions' "We Go Back a Ways," the Notations' "Make Me Twice the Man," and the Dramatics' "I Dedicate My Love to You" do a very able job of capturing the mood of mellow '70s soul, if not its quintesesstial singles. While Harmonizingly Yours: Soul Vocal Groups Meeting certainly isn't a starting point for a new listener, it does feature some unique selections that might interest die-hard fans.

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