Various Artists

Kent's Magic Touch

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Kent's Magic Touch features 27 fairly obscure soul tracks spanning the mid-'60s to the early '70s, all originally recorded for the affiliated Musicor/Dynamo labels; three cuts were previously unissued. Some of these names are known to soul and pop fans, like Eartha Kitt, the Toys, the Jive Five, Tommy Hunt, Inez Foxx, Melba Moore, and the Platters, although they're not represented by any famous hits; most of the performers, indeed, may not ring a bell even with listeners who consider themselves soul collectors. It's all competent soul with pop-conscious, East Coast-flavored production, mostly dancefloor-ready, even if the only dancefloors moving to the sounds these days are found on the Northern soul scene. As is often the case on these compilations, there's little to complain about, but little that makes a deep impression. Exceptions might include the young Melba Moore's "The Magic Touch," unissued when it was recorded in 1966, though it served as a demo for an excellent rock single by Bobby Fuller; there's also a nifty 1965 version of "This Diamond Ring" (by Sammy Ambrose) that's far more soul-oriented than the famous hit rendition by Gary Lewis.

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