Kiki Dee

Love Makes the World Go Round: The Motown Collection

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This 18-track compilation includes everything from Kiki Dee's early-'70s Motown album Great Expectations, as well as two additional tracks from her time with the label that surfaced on the rare budget Kiki Dee album in the mid-'70s, along with four previously unreleased 1969-1970 outtakes. While it's good to have this fairly rare material thoughtfully combined into one package, it reinforces the sense that neither Motown nor Dee realized the potential from their unusual association. Part of the problem is that there are too many undistinguished cover versions that can't help but suffer in comparison with the classic hit interpretations -- not only of songs made famous by fellow Motown artists like Stevie Wonder and the Miracles, but also hits by Dionne Warwick, Jackie DeShannon, Dusty Springfield, and Deon Jackson. Also, however, Dee's voice just isn't as powerful or imbued with character as those of Motown's top talents, and there's sometimes a sense of listening to an understudy for Dusty Springfield, albeit a competent one. So it's more pleasant than it is essential, though it's certainly pleasing enough if you're looking for enjoyable generic examples of the late-'60s Motown sound, albeit with a white British singer rather than a black Detroit one. Occasionally, too, she gets a chance to sink her teeth into some more satisfyingly adventurous material, like the luscious "Oh Be My Love" (co-written by Smokey Robinson) and the uncommonly stark (for Motown) ballad "Jimmy."

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