Motown continues efforts to maintain label identity with Motown Soul Jams, Vol. 1, a compilation of highlights from their roster that covers the late '90s and early 2000s. Not every artist they cultivated during this period took off -- see 702, Grenique, and Profyle -- but the label did boast the presence of some big, successful names on their release schedule. Late-'90s hits like Chico DeBarge's "No Guarantee," Erykah Badu's "Next Lifetime," the Temptations' "Stay," and Boyz II Men's "Doin' Just Fine" are featured. Later singles that varied from failure to success are included, such as Remy Shand's "Take a Message," India.Arie's "Brown Skin," and Lathun's "Fortunate." As good as this disc is overall, its appeal is limited. Only those who have avoided buying the big albums from which some of these songs are plucked will have much use for it.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman