Marvin Gaye

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Vulnerable Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Vulnerable is the end result of a project entitled The Ballads that Marvin Gaye began in 1966. Gaye intended the project as a showcase for his crooning, as well as a way to pay tribute to the pop and jazz standards he loved. It was a labor of love that took him 12 years to complete, and even after it was finished, the record wasn't released until 1997. Was it worth the wait? For dedicated fans, it certainly was, since Gaye's voice is as beautiful and soulful as ever. However, anyone who is not a dedicated fan will find Vulnerable intriguing but significantly flawed, especially since several of the songs seem ill-suited for Gaye's seductive vocals. Which means that even though Vulnerable is a nice addendum to his catalog, it's little more than a curiosity.

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