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Standing in the Shadows of Motown

1 rating: 5.0
An album by Original Soundtrack

STANDING IN THE SHADOWS contains new live versions of classic hits sung by today's stars and backed by Motown's house band, the Funk Brothers. Included are three original, previously unreleased tracks from Motown's vaults. STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF … see full wiki

1 review about Standing in the Shadows of Motown

Standing Tall but Humble

  • Dec 28, 2003
Pros: Classic songs remade with respect to the originals. Fantastic!

Cons: Nothing

The Bottom Line: You must try this album; classic songs sung in a classic way... it's just fantastic. No matter your mood, this will put a smile on your face.

The cover of the CD Standing in the Shadows of Motown displays the exact way I feel when I listen to it. The sounds coming through my speakers don’t seem to be coming from my speakers at all… I feel like I am in a casual performance, sitting at a cozy table with my friends right in front of the stage, and these performers are singing right at me. This CD is filled with familiar songs that conjure up different memories for everyone. It is a must for many, many people.

Heat Wave- Joan Osborne. What a strong voice Joan displays in this song. Of course she sounds a bit different from the original, but she makes this song her own. Lots of people aren’t fond of remakes, but you can tell that Joan Osborne sings this song with respect. A great intro song!

You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me- Me’Shell Ndegeocello. This song was originally sort of laid back, but Me’Shell Ndegeocello, with the help of the instrumentalists takes it a step farther. This version is very laid back, almost dragging, but seems to be held up by the driving piano beat. Her voice is also very smooth and emotional. Very nice song.

Do You Live Me- Bootsy Collins. This guy’s voice doesn’t sound at all like the original, but he does a great job of playing up the humor aspect of this song. I really like this version.

Bernadette- Funk Brothers. I love this! This song is instrumental, and begins with a simple sounding bass line, which gradually builds, and is soon joined by a simple tambourine. After awhile, more instruments join in, and the tension continues to build. I really like this song; the bass feature is really different and demands your attention.

Reach Out I’ll Be There- Gerald Levert. This classic song is really well done by Gerald Levert. Again, the bass (at times) is thumping and really sets a great mood. This song sounds very similar to the original, which will appeal to many people.

Ain’t Too Proud To Beg- Ben Harper. I haven’t heard much Ben Harper before, but this is a great sample, and if it’s any indication of his other music, I will definitely be listening to other selections of his. He has a very strong voice in this piece, and boy, he ain’t too proud to beg!

Shotgun- Gerald Lever, Tom Scott. This song just begs me to dance… and it sure is hard for me to resist. It’s tempo isn’t too fast, but its upbeat, and the saxophone solo in the middle is killer… though I may be partial (I play some jazz sax). The song is pretty simple, but it’s a definite “danceable” song.

What Becomes Of The Broken hearted- Joan Osborne. Ah, this sounds more like the Joan I’ve heard before. Her voice sounds a bit rough, but in a gentle way. I can tell she really feels this song when she sings it, and you’ll be able to tell when you listen to it also. This is one of my favorite songs on this album. It’s beautiful anyway, and Joan really does do it justice.

I Heard It Through The Grapevine- Ben Harper. Yep, I’ll be checking out more of Ben Harper’s music. His voice is, again, very strong without being overpowering. I’m not a fan of this song really, but Ben does a good job of making me want to like it more. And I do J

If You Keep Me Hanging On- The Funk Brothers. Okay, you have to love the intro to this song… It’s very tense and building, and although it says right on the back of the CD that it’s instrumental, I keep expecting to hear those wailing voices, and though they never come, I’m not disappointed at all.

Cool Jerk- Bootsy Collins. Cool Jerk? What a funny title. And I’m starting to really like Bootsy Collins’ voice… I can just picture him singing these songs, and I know he had so much fun recording them. You can hear it in his voice, which is truly amazing in itself. I’m not a huge fan of the original, but this is a great song.

Cloud Nine- Me’Shell Ndegeocello. What a cool intro! The drums sound really great with the quiet guitar. I start grooving to this song before the vocals even begin, but when they do… wow. I’m not sure why I’ve never heard of Me’Shell Ndegeocello before. This song seems a little longer than I like it but hey, its not too bad. There’s a bit of repetitiveness as well.

What’s Going On- Chaka Khan. How beautiful. Another powerful voice present on this CD… why am I not surprised? I really like the strings that are softly featured in this song. Also Chaka Khan has a very fantastic scatting voice, and scatting usually annoys me. That’s saying a lot.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough- Chaka Khan, Montell Jordan. Wow. All right, I really got kind of annoyed with the 90 seconds of “ladies and gentlemen, introducing…” This is a song I love and the more this intro went on, the more anxious I became. However… wow. When these two voices came pouring out of my stereo, I was more than pleased. I would sit through the first 90 seconds anytime, though I am glad there is such a thing as a skip button. These two sound made for each other. The seem to get so emotional with this song. This is my favorite song on the album.

The Flick- Earl Van Dyke. This is an original recording, but it sounds in such good shape, I can’t imagine! Again, there is an awesome saxophone solo in this song, and I love it. There are several instruments who do improvisational solos in this piece, and it’s really great to listen to; anyone who knows anything about music knows how hard improv can be. This is a great last song on this album; it really sums up Motown itself.

This album is just plain fantastic. I am glad to see such a recording; so many great artists contributing to an album that tributes such great music. These artists obviously have something in common… their love for soul music, and boy does this album touch the soul. This CD seems so intimate; as I said before, I feel like these songs are being sung to me. I can’t say enough how wonderful I think this kind of album is. Even if you are not a fan of tribute CD’s or remakes, you will love this album. These songs are kept fairly true to their original format, and the artists themselves do nothing bu add to the wonderful music.

I have no complaints about Standing in the Shadows of Motown.


Great Music to Play While: Hanging With Friends

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Standing in the Shadows of Motown
Label: Hip-O Records
Release Date: September 24, 2002

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