Smokey Robinson

Now and Then

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The Cracker Barrel exclusive 2010 release Now and Then delivers what it promises, at least to a degree: it covers the “Then” portion of the title quite well by plucking six songs from his perfectly pleasant 2009 album Time Flies When You’re Having Fun and balances these new cuts with live versions of familiar Smokey songs from the ‘60s through the ‘80s. Note that these are not live versions from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s; they’re of a recent vintage, their age betrayed by the too-crisp, too-hollow synths and Smokey’s notably diminished vocal range. These are not terrible performances but they’re not noteworthy and most listeners interested in getting a sense of where Smokey was then and is now would be better served by picking up a greatest-hits compilation when they purchase Time Flies.

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