The Four Tops

Meeting of the Minds

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Meeting of the Minds, the proper studio follow-up to 1973's Main Street People, wasn't a big seller either. The production failed to capitalize on the group's chemistry, offering songs that were formulaic and stale. The hokey "One Chain Don't Make No Prison" starts off promisingly, with a searing guitar riff, but then a weak set of lyrics tests Levi Stubbs' credibility. "Midnight Flower," with a faint Oriental motif, has Stubbs unabashedly singing of having the hots for a prostitute. Since the Tops' pop/R&B sound was beginning to run out of gas, they also tried other ideas. "The Well Is Dry" is reminiscent of the group's dramatic work with Holland-Dozier-Holland, but a perfunctory arrangement makes it sound artificial. Unlike many efforts, this featured other group members getting a lead vocal. The best of the lot is "Tell Me You Love Me (Love Sounds)." The song features Lawrence Payton, whose voice is lighter than Stubbs', but had his exact phrasing. The track, complete with a cooing woman and a breezy L.A. pop/R&B arrangement, is fun to listen to. Meeting of the Minds seemed to be an extension of Keeper of the Castle, but the group sounded a little tired and the production seemed too listless. Despite a few good tracks, this didn't blaze any new trails for the group.

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