Charlie Wilson's fourth album in eight years -- his fourth consecutive release to feature his first name in the title -- is his most modest and low-key set. Some listeners might bemoan the increasingly reserved nature of Wilson's releases since the singer's unexpected 2000s resurgence, but the direction is natural. It would make little sense for him to continue teaming with songwriters and producers accustomed to working with pop-oriented R&B artists less than half his age. Besides, these love songs -- all of which were co-written beside wife Mahin Wilson and an assortment of others -- are not lacking in energy and spirit. For someone who has been through as much as Wilson, who beat prostate cancer, seemingly basic sentiments expressed in "If I Believe" and "I Still Have You" ring clearly and loudly with conviction and vigor. ... Full Description While it does not feature as many standouts as the three previous "Charlie" albums, Love, Charlie is another enjoyable and genuine addition to the catalog of a funk heavyweight. ~ Andy Kellman.
MARY WELLS - ONE WHO REALLY LOVES YOU
Mary Wells place as the First Lady of Motown was well and truly confirmed in 1962, thanks in large part to the runaway success of the singles The One Who Really Loves You and You Beat Me To The Punch, b oth of which hit the Top Ten of the pop chart. Both were written by Smokey Robinson, the second in conjunction with fellow Miracle Ronnie White, and feature The Love-Tones, a male group who briefly offered the same kind of vocal accompaniment that The Andantes would later provide. Although there is no producer credit on the resulting album, it has the stamp of Smokey running all the way through like a stick of rock. Together, Mary and Smokey were a winning combination, one which would reach its peak with My Guy, but much of this album is of the same kind of calibre. ~ CD Universe
AL GREEN - THE LOVE SONGS COLLECTION
Recorded between 1972 & 2002. Includes liner notes by Colin Escott. If there's ever been a soul singer who deserves to be called on to provide mood music for romantic interludes, it's Al Green. With his ringing falsetto, impassioned phrasing, and killer arrangements by famed Hi Records producer Willie Mitchell, Green's Love Songs Collection merits a special place on your shelf. All the great songs are here: the simmering "Call Me (Come Back Home)," cool and loose "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)," yearning "Let's Stay Together," and sassy "Love And Happiness." Although most of these songs were either written or co-written by Green, there's also a number of notable covers including a restrained interpretation of Kris Kristofferson's "For The Good Times" and a version of the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" that aches with hurt. Personnel includes: Al Green, Ann Nesby (vocals). Compilation producers: Bryan Kelley, Shannon Ward. Rolling Stone (2/6/03, p.65) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Green has plenty of greatest-hits collections, but this is as fine a place as any to start..." ~ CD Universe