This is the second healthy compilation of Sam Dees' recordings compiled and released by Kent Records. The first ran 23 tracks, and this one has 22 killer doses of soul -- look for a third from Kent, since they still haven't captured all of this southern soul icon's recordings on CD. "Fragile, Handle With Care"; "I'm So Glad"; "Lonely for You Baby"; a lilting duet with Bettye Swann, "Just As Sure," which should have blown up; and too many more to list are available on vinyl or tape only. This is a more consistent, albeit less raw, set than Dees' previous Kent compilation; missing are the demo and unreleased tracks that made Second to None attractive to collectors and historians. But absolute grit isn't missing -- Dees delivered that like he had a warehouse full of it. More than just a singer, he either wrote or co-wrote nearly every song. He gets introspective on "Why Must I Be in Love Alone," "I, Me, Myself," and "Why Must I Live in Chains"; pleads shamelessly on "Reconsider Baby" and "Meet Me Half Way"; and delivers the norm on "Mess on Your Hands" and "Lovers or Enemies." If you like soul with an edge, you'll love this razor-sharp collection. Dees penetrates so deep, you feel wounded after listening to these mini-dramas. Not a CD to get lifted by, more of a misery-loves-company enabler.
AllMusic Review by Andrew Hamilton