The Sound of Motorcity, Vol. 3

Various Artists

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The Sound of Motorcity, Vol. 3 Review

by Andrew Hamilton

More of Ian Levine's Motorcity Productions (aka imitation Motown). The only real deals are the singers and some of the songs; the original musicians, studio, producers, and Berry Gordy, Jr. are all missing ingredients. "Step into My Shoes" by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas never should have made it out of the cutting room. The Velvelettes' "Lonely, Lonely Girl Am I," misses the point entirely. Sexy Barbara Randolph's voice changed from soprano to alto, losing its dynamics in the process. "Working on a Building Of Love," by the Fantastic Four, suffers from Sweet James' barely audible, weakened lead. The Andantes Pat Lewis remakes Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me," which should have remained unreleased and unknown. There are some enjoyable tracks, however. Linda Griner's (aka Lynn Roman) "Now This Time" smolders, while the backing singers complement Roman's lead. The Supremes always give their all on Levine's productions and "Stop in the Name of Love" is no exception. Hattie Littles "Running a Fever" showcases her husky, blues voice and provides a contrast to the happy-go-lucky melody. Choker Campbell led the Motortown Revue's road bands -- his "After the Dark" features sparkling female voices and a catchy, spritely rhythm; it's the CD's most satisfying track and reminiscent of MFSB. "Let the Music Take You Away," by Earl Van Dyke, has a similar feel. Frances Nero's youthful voice defies her age on "It's a Pleasure," and Ronnie McNeir almost hits with "Keep on Giving Me Love," a nice midtempo beat ballad. Liz Lands gives a good reading of "Starting All Over Again"; it's always an experience listening to Lands, you never know when she's going to hit one of those ultrasonic, crystal-shattering notes; she didn't this time, but you never know. This LP won't suit the casual fan: an insatiable love of Motown is essential, so let the buyer beware.