Big Listening Fun!
David Wayne | Santee, CA United States | 04/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Double Good Everything is Smokey Robinson's first and only album to be recorded away from Motown. After several years of first big, and then diminishing success using outside producers and songwriters, Smokey returned to write all but one of the songs on this album, and he produced the whole affair. Perhaps he felt a need for self-determination this time out. What comes across is that Smokey wanted the album to be fun to listen to; the kind of album that friends might pop in when entertaining friends, or when there's lots of beer to be enjoyed! While I am a big Smokey fan and enjoyed all the tracks, six of them I found to be outstanding. "Why" is perky and quirky, filled with rhymes both clever and sly, and backed by a percolating rhythm. "Double Good Everything" uses a throbbing, bouncing bass as its bedrock. It seemed to be aimed toward the Carolina Beach Music market. "Rewind" was the lead single from the album. Both it and the title track highlighted Smokey's live shows for the next couple of years (as did "I Love Your Face"). All three songs are (amazingly) also available through Sound Choice for karoake. On "Just Be Yourself," it's more of the same: a sweet melody, smart lyrics, complex 90's-style rhythm, and a very confident vocal. "Can't Get Enough" is another Beach Music dance floor effort. Smokey's divorce from his wife of many years, Claudette, was still fairly new at this point. A lot of these songs seem to be written as a single man's viewpoint of relationships. "Rack Me Back" is a good example of this. The sound is a kind of blues/rock amalgamation, with Smokey's laid-back vocal doing it real justice. Among these tracks, it's my favorite. I thought that with this album, Smokey Robinson reached back for some of the glory of his sound of the past, and updated it for a new decade. He sounded fresh and feisty, as if singing with a continual smile on his face. I'd hoped for more of the same, but the album apparently didn't sell enough copies, and Smokey's deal with SBK turned out to be a one-off effort. By his next album a decade later (Intimate), Smokey was back on Motown, again with outside producers and writers. This one seemed to be done just for the fun of it. If you're enjoying a good time with friends, it's a nice disc to have around."
I love this CD!
Kalina T. | Hawaii | 02/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm wondering if I have an atypical taste in music. Why? Because out of all of Smokey's albums, my two favorites (this and "Love, Smokey") are "out-of-print". Ah well, it's a good thing I bought them when they were still available.As the other two reviewers noted, this CD was fun to listen to. More jazzy and upbeat than his usual R&B smooth tunes. I love almost every track. To be honest, I love this CD much more than his latest one ("Intimate"). I think he should've taken complete charge of "Intimate" in the same way he did "Double Good"."
What the Title Says...
David Wayne | 04/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since the mid-seventies album of the same name, Smokey Robinson had been perfecting and refining his "quiet storm" approach to music. But what had sounded effortlessly brilliant in the beginning ("Cruisin'," "Being With You") had morphed into lazy, state of the art easy listening by the mid-eighties. How wonderful, then, that in 1991 Robinson would make a deliberate return to his Miracles heyday with the rock-oriented, uptempo "Double Good Everything." (His first ever album, by the way, to be recorded away from Motown.)
Not that anything on this album equals "Tears of a Clown" or "Just a Mirage." But it is great fun, and far away his most consistently good effort in a decade. It's hard not to be charmed by the clever rhymes and good humor of such songs as "Why," the title track, "I Can't Get Enough," and the bluesy "Rack Me Back"--they are a big part of what made Smokey a national treasure in the first place, and something we have not seen much evidence of lately.
To be fair, the ballads on this album are not quite so succesful, with Joshua Kadison's cliched "When a Woman Cries" (the only non-Smokey-penned track here) being the low point. Another loser is "Skid Row," (written with Miracles guitarist Marvin Tarplin), a socially-conscious number that fails to rouse the listener's sympathy, or interest.
Throughout, Robinson sounds energetic and inspired, providing proof that even in this late stage he still manifestly has what it takes. Shame, but somehow typical, that "Double Good Everything" is out of print."