THE TEMPTATIONS: Truly For You (Label: PTG, Vinyl Masterpiece)

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  • THE TEMPTATIONS: Truly For You (Label: PTG, Vinyl Masterpiece)

In 1984, a revamped Temptations – which only featured two charter members, Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin, and included new lead singer, Ali Ollie Woodson – went into the studio with Earth, Wind & Fire’s Al McKay and Ralph Johnson taking on the roles of producers. What transpired was a strong, contemporary, soul set that showed that The Tempts weren’t afraid to embrace change and go with the times in terms of their musical arrangements and style. The album (originally issued on Motown’s Gordy imprint) yielded a massive US R&B hit, ‘Treat Her Like A Lady,’ which boasted a dynamic lead from Woodson and an infectious chorus over a punchy dance groove. Newly reissued by the Dutch label, Vinyl Masterpiece – which has made a name for itself putting classic, out-of-print ’80s albums back in circulation – ‘Truly For You’ hasn’t dated too badly despite the group’s over-reliance at the time on synths and drum machines. ‘Treat Her Like A Lady’ is undoubtedly the 8-track set’s killer cut and still sounds strong and punchy. The rest of the album doesn’t quite hit the same peak of inspiration but it’s solid and listenable nevertheless. In particular, ballads like the silky smooth ‘My Love Is True (Truly For You)’ and the reggae-infused ‘How Can You Say It’s Over’ impress with their inventive vocal interplay and succulent background harmonies. Other highlights come in the shape of the jazzy groover, ‘I’ll Keep My Light In My Window,’ and the funky synth-bass-led dancer, ‘Runnin’.’
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(CW) 4/5