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My World: The Definitive Collection by Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson's status as a singer and songwriter of rhythm and blues is the same as Sugar Ray Robinson achieved in boxing: the undisputed champion. My World: The Definitive Collection collects onto one CD nineteen of his greatest hits from over the years as well as two new recordings that find the master still in good form. The compilation is split nearly evenly between his early hits with the Miracles and his later solo recordings.

The disc, in a bold show of confidence, begins with two new tracks, "My World" and "Fallin'." I was frankly a little apprehensive; prepared to hear Smokey's time honored hits, how were the new songs going to stand up? Pretty well, actually, both are nice romantic ballads delivered in solid velvet tones and featuring some nice guitar work to boot, though I have to admit that I would've preferred live drums. Still, the pair leaves no doubt that Smokey still has plenty left in the tank in his sixth decade of recording.

The retrospective portion begins with the wonderful "Crusin'" and his more recent hit "Just To See Her Again." A good selection of recordings with the Miracles are included, ranging from such up-tempo numbers as "The Tears Of A Clown," "Going To A Go-Go," "I Second That Emotion," and "Yester Love" to slower ballads like "The Tracks of My Tears" and "Ooo Baby Baby." About the only false note on the disc is "I've Made Love To You A Thousand Times," a weaker and, frankly, slightly creepy rewrite of the earlier Motown hit "(Just My) Imagination."

Taken together, the body of work collected on My World: The Definitive Collection constitutes some of the finest pop songs of the last half century. More simply, it's a lot of fun to listen to on a lazy afternoon. If you need a compilation of Smokey Robinson (I did, as it so happens), this is a pretty good one.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Smokey Robinson
  • CD Title: My World: The Definitive Collection
  • Genre: Blues
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Motown Records
  • Rating: Five Stars
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