This album brings back the best of the J5! All the goodies and some of the almost forgotten wonderful tunes of J5's era. The album compiles the hits and the well-known songs. If I were rating the album, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars!
I Want You Back - This has always been my favorite J5 song, with the funky rhythm and the pleading in young Michael's voice when he begs for the girl to come back to him. It is sung with true soul, and the instruments join together without a hitch. I hear the funky guitar in my right ear while the strings and piano hit it off in my left. And then Mikey begins singing, and I hear "ooh ahh" from the other 4 members. The funky drumbeat taps away also in the right ear, as the tambourine clinks in the left. Wonderful panning of this song, I must say. In this song, Michael speaks of a girl he took for granted, and he let her go....then he sees another has swiped her up, and...HE WANTS HER BACK! Great song! ****
The Love You Save - "The love you save may be your own, my friend." :) Once again, funky rhythm, great panning of instruments. And I love the doo-be-doo-doo-de and the harmony of Tito, Marlin, Jermaine, and Jackie in the background. And the handclaps add a heck of a lot to this song. This song speaks of a girl who is throwing away her life by loving those who could not love her back. At least, that's how I see it. They tell her that she needs to stop going for that type of man and go for someone who will love her no matter what. ***
I'll Be There - You know, honestly, I would like this song more if it hadn't been remade. Once Mariah [Carey] covered this song, it was constantly being played, and I actually got TIRED OF IT! However, as far as musicianship in the J5 version, it's wonderful. The voices and the instruments blend beautifully, and the reverb on the back-up singing is a nice touch. **&1/2 (Note by Collins: the link here is to the lyrics as sung by Mariah Carey.)
ABC - ANOTHER GOODY! Very similar in style to "I Want You Back." Of course, here, we have a buzzing guitar playing along with the piano's melody. Also, the buzz goes great with the bassline. And I love the funky break where there's a bunch of hooting and hollering going on, and the bass pops in and brings it all back together. Beautiful arrangement! This song is about how easy love is supposed to be! Hee hee! ****
Rockin' Robin - Traditional rock-style song. Sort of a reproduction of Rock Around The Clock and other similar songs. Michael sings his heart out on this one, and the kewl guitar break jazzes this song up significantly. And, of course, how could I forget the nifty flute! This flute makes the song! ***
Maybe Tomorrow - In this song, Michael sings with such feeling that it is hard NOT to love this one. There is a place where his voice cracks.... and even though it was probably puberty working its magic, it sure could be mistaken for almost crying... hee hee.. This is not one of my favorites, but I do enjoy it very much. **&1/2* ;)
Got To Be There - Another kinda slow sappy one...very good. Love the background vocals...great blend of instruments. **
I Wanna Be Where You Are - I first heard this song as a remake and had no idea it was orignally done by the Jacksons. The remake I heard was by Sybil (she had a few hits in the late 80's). And when I heard the original I notced many similarities and many differences. All that aside, here is wht I notice about this song: lots of vocals, good panning of instruments, great soulful melody. Very good work...LOVE IT! ***
Ben - Oh what CAN I say?! I LOVE THIS ONE! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...too much for words. **** all the way
Dancing Machine - This one is almost discoey...very funky. Good use of brass instruments, and the shoo-da-bop shoo-da-bop that the backup sings is what makes this song. Wonderful arrangement. I wanna get down and boogie! Shoo-da-bop! ****
Now this is Collins talking.
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