Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Syreeta/Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta
R&B | FLAC | CUE | LOG | 300DPI | 517MB | 78:05 | DOUBLE CD
Motown 1972 & 1974

Syreeta (1972):
This album represented the solo debut of Syreeta, a Motown staffer who was one of Stevie Wonder's most important collaborators during his early-'70s renaissance. Fittingly, Wonder returned the favor by producing this album and writing or co-writing several of its songs (he is also notably present in the background vocals of several of the tracks). As a result, the album utilizes the same experimental approach to R&B music that defined his early-'70s work, blending conventional string-sweetened '70s soul with ventures into synthesizer-inflected funk. Highlights include "Black Maybe," a jazz-inflected ballad with socially conscious lyrics, and "Baby Don't You Let Me Lose This," a gently percolating midtempo number that benefits from an infectious chorus and some sleek synthesizer textures. There is also a strong cover of the Smokey Robinson classic "What Love Has Joined Together" that provides an excellent showcase for Syreeta's emotionally rich vocals. Unfortunately, this experimental approach occasionally fails to pan out: the big misstep is a badly misjudged cover of the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home" that suffers from a gimmicky production featuring annoying voicebox-treated vocals on the chorus. Another problem with the album is that it fails to build a cohesive sense of flow from song to song, resulting in an album that feels more like a loose collection of songs than a proper album. Despite these problems, Syreeta offers enough likable soul music to make it worth a spin for anyone interested in Syreeta, and the rare Stevie Wonder tunes it includes make it a necessity for his hardcore fans. ~ Donald A. Guarisco, All Music Guide

Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta (1974):
After a promising but uneven debut, Syreeta summoned her creative strengths and worked in tandem with creative partner Stevie Wonder to produce another album in 1974. The result was Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta, the most delightful and consistent album of her career. As with Syreeta, this album pursues a combination of smooth soul tracks ideally suited to Syreeta's silky vocal range and more experimental outings that are creatively in line with Wonder's then-current solo work. However, the eclecticism that weighed down Syreeta is transformed into a strength on Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta: the tracks pursue a dazzling array of different pop-soul styles, but everything is kept in check by solid performances from everyone involved and tight arrangements that keep the album's hook-filled songs on track. Highlights on the first side include "Spinnin' and Spinnin'," a clever tune that uses a spiraling, carnival-styled keyboard motif to bring its tale of an unwieldy relationship to life, and "Come And Get This Stuff," a funky pop number built on an infectious sing-along chorus. Another notable track is "Cause We've Ended As Lovers," a delicate breakup ballad with a stunning, ethereal vocal from Syreeta. On the second side, a majority of the running time is devoted to an Abbey Road-style medley of short tracks. Everything here is catchy and well-arranged, but the highlight is "I Wanna Be By Your Side," a heart-melting romantic duet between Syreeta and fellow Motown solo artist G.C. Cameron. All in all, Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta is the shining moment of Syreeta's solo career and a lost highlight of 1970's soul in general. Any fans of Stevie Wonder owe it to themselve to track this album down because it makes a worthy companion to albums like Talking Book and Innervisions. ~ Donald A. Guarisco, All Music Guide


01. I Love Every Little Thing About You
02. Black Maybe
03. Keep Him Like He Is
04. Happiness
05. She's Leaving Home
06. What Love Has Joined Together
07. How Many Days?
08. Baby Don't You Let Me Lose This
09. To Know You Is to Love You
10. I'm Goin' Left
11. Spinnin' and Spinnin'
12. Your Kiss Is Sweet
13. Come and Get This Stuff
14. Heavy Day
15. Cause We've Ended as Lovers
16. Just a Little Piece of You
17. Waitin' for the Postman
18. When Your Daddy's Not Around
19. I Wanna Be by Your Side
20. Universal Sound of the World



RunawayTrane said...

pw: lisalisa

michele said...

Please!!!! Would a repost be possible? The link is dead.. And I know this is an out of print issue.. I'd love to see the booklet!
(I could send you my email)