Jimmy Lewis

Totally Involved

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A couple of comeback albums appeared in the '80s and '90s, but this was basically Lewis' only chance to show what he could do at the height of his powers. It was a pleasant, unremarkable record that seemed a bit more like a catalog of styles than an original vision. "It Ain't What's on the Woman" is a good Stax-styled slice of gospel-soul (with lengthy spoken parts); "Is That Any Way to Treat a Lady" hints at a Philly soul groove; "That Won't Stop Me From Loving You" has a smidgen of Norman Whitfield's early-'70s Temptations productions; and so forth. It's not necessarily an insult to point out Lewis' derivations. He's a competent singer and songwriter who projects a good-natured compassion, and if you specialize in early-'70s pop-soul, this isn't a bad thing to have. Go for the 1997 CD reissue Still Wanna Be Black, though, which has everything on the album, and adds twelve unreleased songs from the same period.