Jermaine Jackson is one of the finer R&B/pop singers of his generation, but due to siblings like Michael and Janet, his attributes are often overlooked. Hip-O's 2001 release Ultimate Collection seems to rectify that situation. While Jackson's talents are genuine this set also shows that he can be a spotty artist. The earliest tracks here, the Jackson 5's anachronistic and slightly charming "I Found That Girl," "That's the Way Love Goes," and his cover of "Daddy's Home" display a singer with skill yet no true persona. As Jackson's voice continued to change and became strongly reminiscent of Marvin Gaye, the work became more enjoyable. His solo Motown tenure didn't yield any major hits until the early '80s. Ultimate Collection offers the big Motown hits like "Let's Get Serious" and "You Like Me Don't You." The great "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy" is arguably the best of the bunch. Unlike many compilations, Ultimate Collection offers tracks from two different labels, Motown and Arista. During the Arista years Jackson came into his own with synth pop of "Dynamite" and the top-notch ballad "Do What You Do." This set also includes the almost forgotten-though-skilled "I Think It's Love" and his 1989 hit "Don't Take It Personal." Despite the inclusions, Ultimate Collection could have been more eccentric and better. Jackson essentials like "Words Into Action," his duet with Whitney Houston ("If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful"), and even the controversial version of "Word to the Badd" didn't make it here. This set is strong however and does invite even a casual fan to pick up a few more of his albums.
AllMusic Review by Jason Elias
feat: The Jackson 5