Barbara Acklin

Someone Else's Arms/I Did It/I Call It Trouble

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Although it assembles three of Chicago soul diva Barbara Acklin's early-'70s efforts for the Brunswick label, this Edsel collection offers only 21 songs. Because both I Did It and I Call It Trouble featured performances already available on other LPs, only Someone Else's Arms appears in its entirety, along with the cuts exclusive to the additional albums. Brunswick's decision to keep recycling this material is curious, given that much of it is erratic at best. Saddled with far too many cover songs, many of them suffering from awkward and overbaked arrangements, Acklin largely fails to recapture the brilliance of past hits like "Love Makes a Woman" and "Am I the Same Girl," although when she catches fire (as on the sublime "Someone Else's Arms," co-written by the Chi-Lites' Eugene Record), the results are remarkable. Edsel's 2004 release The Complete Barbara Acklin on Brunswick has since rendered this collection irrelevant. For a few dollars more, consumers can now acquire all of the material in question in addition to the singer's earlier, more consistent work.

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