20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of Motown '80s, Vol. 2

As the title suggests, 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Motown 1980s, Vol. 2 gathers a dozen more '80s hits from Motown artists, including DeBarge, Billy Preston, and the Boys. While the collection contains several good singles, it also reveals how scattered Motown's output was at the time: ranging from Rick James' sleek funk classic "Super Freak" to Smokey Robinson's lighter-than-air "Just to See Her" to Diana Ross' sweeping, orchestral "It's My Turn" -- with quirky detours like Bruce Willis' "Respect Yourself" besides -- the compilation shows that, unlike in the label's heyday, Motown in the '80s didn't have much of a unifying sound or theme to its music. Nevertheless, songs like the Commodores' "Lady (You Bring Me Up)," the Temptations' "Lady Soul," and Charlene's "I've Never Been to Me" prove that the label was still capable of releasing interesting and entertaining music from its new and veteran artists. And while 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Motown 1980s, Vol. 2 isn't quite as strong or cohesive a collection as the first Motown '80s compilation, it's still useful as a portrait of where the label was in that decade. ~ Heather Phares

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