Smokey Robinson

Smokey's Family Robinson

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Smokey's Family Robinson Review

by William Ruhlmann

Smokey Robinson sets up groove-based arrangements that take their tone from Sonny Burke's electric piano rhythms, but his own personal songwriting stamp often gives way to the percolating funk, notably on the single "Open" (#10 R&B, #81 Pop), which attempts to do what Marvin Gaye did the following year with "Got to Give It Up," but, with its prominent "backup" vocals, only succeeds in confusing the listener. The second side is more ballad-oriented, but there are no great songs even when the focus is on the singer.

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