This double-play CD contains the Skywriter and Get It Together albums as well as a trio of recordings made, but not issued, circa the Jackson 5's intermediate and increasingly independent years at Motown. While the days of immediate and successive chart-topping albums and singles had subsided, emerging was a band whose wisdom came from its members' pursuit of their unifying passion for music. Regardless of the lack of hit power on either of these albums, there is a notable maturity in the selections. Likewise, these long-players were not laden with cover songs. This allows the Jackson 5 room to explore material that would accentuate group participation, such as "Boogie Man." This should not suggest an abandonment of the quintet's unique style and approach. "Corner of the Sky" -- from the Broadway play Pippin' -- and the clavinet-driven "Uppermost" contain the same funky bubblegum stride with which they would ultimately become synonymous. Remnants of the musical machine known as the Corporation -- which consisted of Motown founder Berry Gordy along with Deke Richards, Freddie Perren, and Fonce Mizell -- surfaced throughout Skywriter. Although "You Made Me What I Am" bears the quartet's full credentials, Richards, Perren, and Mizell continued providing material for the band. The Jackson 5's next effort, Get It Together, doesn't hang together quite as cohesively as its predecessor. However, it does contain the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel" as the final track: "Dancing Machine" would take the brothers head-on into disco. The song would resurface as the title track of their next long-player.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer