CD Home Schooled: The ABC's of Kid Soul [Slipcase] (CD 1158846),
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Home Schooled: The ABC's of Kid Soul [Slipcase]
1. Trust Your Child, Pt. 1 - Patrizia & Jimmy
2. I'm Not Ready for Love - The Promise
3. Here's Some Dances - The Eight Minutes
4. One Is Enough for One - Jack & The Mods
5. Don't Leave Me Mama - Little Murray & The Mantics
6. You Are My Dream (School Time) - 3 Simmons
7. Jersey Slide, Pt. 1 - 3 Stars
8. Now That School Is Through - Cindy & The Playmates
9. Right On - Man Child Singers
10. Sweet Pea - Altyrone Deno Brown
11. Yellow Ribbon - Aton's
12. If You're Looking for Love - The Triads
13. Can't Let You Break My Heart - The Quantrells
14. 2009 Cherry Soul Sound - Jr. & The Soulettes
15. Little Girl - Michael Washington
16. Time - Otis the 3rd
17. Time After Time - Step by Step
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 641016
Tom Lunt (Reissue); Rob Sevier (Reissue); Ken Shipley (Reissue)
Liner Note Authors: Tom Lunt; Rob Sevier; Ken Shipley.
The Jackson 5 were not the first group of kids to sing soul -- teenagers were having hits with R&B stretching back to Frankie Lymon, after all -- nor were they the only band of their kind in the late '60s. Most major metropolitan centers across the United States had a few groups that were like Gary, IN's Jacksons and some even had a hit or two, such as the Five Stairsteps, but most of them never made it out of their hometown and were forgotten to everyone outside of hardcore collectors. Numero's 2007 compilation Home Schooled: The ABC's of Kid Soul rectifies that situation by rounding up 17 of these obscurities from the late '60s and early '70s, all offering proof that the Jackson 5 were an anomaly in no way other way than their sheer talent. There's plenty that's likeable among these 17 songs -- anybody with a fondness for classic soul is bound to enjoy the basic sound and feel of these sides, and it's hard to not be won over by the open-hearted enthusiasm of the kids, who always seem happy to be making music, never possessing any of the crass careerism that characterized kiddie bands after Maurice Starr. So the basic sound of Home Schooled is appealing, but the songs are less so, never quite managing to rise above the generic. Where the Jacksons were blessed with the good fortune to be brought into Motown's hit machine, where there were songwriters sharp enough to write around the group's youth without ever directly addressing it, much of what Numero has chosen to showcase on Home Schooled are songs about being young or in school, songs that aren't so much juvenile as they are cluelessly calculating and bereft of a hook, either melodic, rhythmic, or lyrical. They may not be lost gems -- and the rhythms are too wobbly for sampling -- but they are remarkable cultural artifacts, a portrait of a lost era, and that may be enough for some hardcore soul and pop collectors. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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