Classic Soul Record
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 06/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent effort that unfortunately is only available as an import. In 1970, the Jackson Five released four albums (three studio, one Christmas) and each one of them is a classic. This effort includes the mega-hit, "I'll Be There", but there is so much more to the album than that. The best cut on the album is the brilliant "Reach In" which shows off the young Michael Jackson's vocal gifts. Other stand out songs are "Darling Dear", "How Funky Is Your Chicken" and the other hit off the record "Mama's Pearl". "Goin'Back To Indiana" is a fun song about the group's roots and there are good covers of "The Love I Saw in You Was Just A Mirage" and "Oh How Happy". I highly recommend going the import route to obtain this superb record by a group that is more than just the training ground for Michael."
firstname.lastname@example.org | usa | 08/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The J-5 sounded soulful on this Disc.The Songs,Feelings,Instrumentation&The Voices are solid from start to Finish.Even though Michael Sings Like a Old Soul through out this Set His Brothers hold their own as well.Mama's Pearl is still the Jam."
Ready Or Not Here Come The J5!!!
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 07/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When this album came out the Jackson brothers were in the best possible place in all arenas.Their record breaking 4 hit singles in a row concluded here with "I'll Be There",one of those deserved classics that no matter how much oldies radio saturation it gets still amazes with it's secularized gospel power and sincerity.It's one of the vocal highpoints of Michael's early career and a sure fire highlite of this album. Very atypical with Motown this album was given an excellent where even the cover material,in fewer numbers here then on other albums sparks with youthful individuality and visions.You've got to thank "The Corperations" with Gordy,Deke Richards and the always excellent Mizell brothers for much of that,not to mention the brothers were looking to express more of themselves in the music.And despite not be allowed to contribute songs their ideas obviously caught someones attention at Motown because "Goin Back To Indiana" really brings the grit out in everyone involved.Not to mention Jermaine's singing had a more gravelly delivery earlier in the J5's career but 12 year old Mike throws down this tune with the same grit.If the lyric is correct Tito himself is even allowed to play guitar on the song and,if it is or isn't him the solo is still blistering.Of the covers "Ready Or Not (Here I Come)" is given a great slow burning funky soul flavor worthy of the intention of it's original writer Thom Bell.I love the way the backround vocals are low in the mix and very ghostly.As Sly did with "Que Sera Sera" three years later Jermaine put's a totally new spin on "Bridge Over Troubled Waters".The reflective,wailing delivery is about as far away from the sound of a kiddie pop family group as you can get. It is an early J5 song that probably has more thoroughly adult appeal than anything.Jermaine also gets a turn at "Oh How Happy",not too far from the original and with a mildly more Motown twist. A great funky soul cover of Smokey's "The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage" is also a much appreciated highlite. This album also showcases two incredible album tracks,forever dispelling any notion the Jackson's were a mere inconsistant singles act. "Can I See You In The Morning",with the tension building wah-wah's,angry percussion bridge and Mike's....desperately direct singing here make for an unsung psychedelic Motown masterpiece-I am surprised the song isn't covered more than it is,if it has ever been at all.Wille Hutch 'The Mack' himself throws down some SERIOUS southern fried funk in "How Funky Is Your Chicken";Michael's JB like yelps,Jermaine's swagger and Jackie's high pitched falsetto sweetness all make for a tune with some very raw appeal. "Mama's Pearl" is another hit from this album,again a mildly funkier variation of the J5's earlier uptempo style and is actually one of their best tunes. "Reach In" and "Darling Dear" are the typically breezy early 70's Motown type tunes but between the harmonies and Mike's pleading voice puts them both a little ahead of the cut. Now that everyone has had all these decades to look at these albums beyond the context of early 70's family group pop fare there was always something in the J5's sound,even at this early phase that had it's own kind of flavor to it. And if this doesn't make that very clear it's likely nothing will."