Various Artists

Sweet Soul Music: The Stax Groups

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Stax is usually thought of as the gritty alternative to pop/soul, but in their later years it recorded a fair quantity of "sweet soul" more akin to Motown and Gamble-Huff than Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. This has 13 Stax productions from the late '60s and early '70s, sung by smooth (and obscure) male groups like the Limitations, the Epsilons, the Lords, the Newcomers, and Fat Larry's Band; the Dramatics and (to a lesser degree) the Mad Lads and the Temprees are the only easily recognizable names to casual soul fans. It's okay, but primarily for collectors. It's pleasantly produced and harmonized, but nothing jumps out as a lost classic, and there are better discs of late-period sweet soul around.

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