In the midst of summer we announced a new album from the wonderful SPINNERS. The still-going-strong-group are now led by last surviving original member Henry Fambrough who’s joined by Jessie Peck, Marvin Taylor, Ronnie Moss, and CJ Jefferson. The new album was trailed by the single ‘Cliché’ … a pleasant, group harmony workout featuring veteran producer Preston Glass’s signature light production touch.
The good news for Spinners fans specifically and harmony group collectors generally is that the parent album, ‘Round The Block And Back Again’ is now good to go. And, sure, it’s not quite up there with their Thom Bell produced classics but it’s pleasant throughout and there’s plenty of moments that will remind you why the sound of a soul harmony group in full flight is so wonderful. Here, ‘I’m In My Prime’ is a good example – not world changing by any means but mature and slick, easy on the ear and catchy. The 13 track album offers plenty of ballads too – some with a delicious bass voice spoken intros à la Manhattans (try ‘Missing Your Embrace’). We think all the songs are originals save for the cover of the Tymes’ doo-wop oldie ‘So Much In Love’. Here the group and Glass try to update the song but maybe sticking to a vintage doo-wop arrangement might have been a better bet. Remember the Spinners began right back in that magical doo-wop era … their first stab at success was the doo-wopper ‘That’s What Girls Made Are For’.
We’ve just mentioned the Manhattans and if you’re missing new music from bands like them, the Temptations, the Whispers et al, you could do worse than check out ‘Round The Block And Back Again’. It’s crammed full of simple, sweet old school soul delivered with well-honed harmonies and alternating lead vocals… what’s not too like?