The Motions

Introduction to the Motions/Their Own Way

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The Motions' first two LPs are combined onto one CD on this 2001 Pseudonym reissue, with the addition of seven bonus tracks (all but one from non-LP 1965-1966 singles). All but one of the dozen songs on the Motions' debut LP, Introduction to the Motions, were penned by Robbie van Leeuwen, their reliance upon original material in itself setting them apart from many non-British European bands. It's fair but derivative mainstream British Invasion-style rock, neither too pop nor too R&B-oriented. Van Leeuwen gets into Continental-style mordant folk music on "I'll Follow the Sun" (not the Beatles song) and attractive beat balladry on "No Matter Where You Run." But usually this is brash rock with echoes of both Merseybeat and early mod rock (some Kinks influences are especially evident). It's simultaneously moody and exuberant, yet a little anonymous-sounding, the best and most tuneful track being "For Another Man." In comparison with their brasher debut album, Their Own Way was disappointingly sluggish and subdued. The emphasis was on rather lethargic soul-rock ballads, as if songwriter Ronnie van Leeuwen was trying to find something that would get the same chart success as (better) British singers of the time such as the Walker Brothers. "Why Don't You Take It" was a pretty obvious attempt to capture a Drifters-like mood, and though the group occasionally got into a bluesy mode, the sound was surprisingly thin and the execution rather perfunctory. The biggest problem was that the songs weren't memorable, with the notable exception of the scorching "Everything That's Mine," now enshrined on the Nuggets 2 box set. That track is a mod masterpiece with screeching guitar that's just as exciting as the early Who or Small Faces, and its appearance at the very end of the album is downright shocking, blowing the rest of the set out the window. The bonus tracks aren't too exciting or notable; the only one not taken from a non-LP 45 is a previously unreleased stereo version of a song from Their Own Way, "You've Hurt Yourself."

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