1975, Music

Pick of the Litter (1975) by The Spinners

This is a smooth Philly soul album with pretty damn strong material and at least the odd concession to the things going on outside of Philly Soul.

The material is quite strong, virtually every song is really catchy, and catchy enough that you remember the songs afterward. I know none of the writers but it seems like they knew what they were doing melody wise. I don’t go out of my way to listen to this type of soul music but a few of the records I’ve encountered have deep cuts which really don’t hold up to the singles and that is not the case here.

The lyrics are very typical of the subgenre, basically every song is about love, except the one about how just because something looks nice doesn’t mean it’s great. As with so many soul albums, there’s not much here lyrically.

This is a Philly Soul record, so everything is recorded well and every part is played perfectly, and there are way too many instruments on each song. There are strings and/or (soft) horns on basically every song, as you would expect. This is something I really hate about Philly Soul specifically and smooth soul in general.

The good news is that a couple of tracks have more rhythmic variation than you might expect from this subgenre. One of them in particular almost tricks you into thinking they could get funky if they wanted to. Somebody was clearly listening to funk music but of course it had to get filtered through the slick filter.For the most part, the record stays in the Philly Soul space.

I’d rate it lower, because I do not like the aesthetic at all, but the material is pretty damn catchy and I think I need to give it at least a point for the better than average material.


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