Liner Note Author: Ady Croasdell.
Recording information: Ace Records.
Ace's second and final collection of singles either recorded for or released on the Los Angeles soul imprint Dore concentrates on the '60s but it stretches all the way into 1981 for Gail Anderson's "Just a Little Ugly," stopping along the way for Rambling Willie & the Euphonics' 1976 side "Stuffin' the Bird" and Johnny Braff's 1975 single "This Girl Is a Good Girl." These are accents on a collection that essentially picks up the thread from 2014's initial volume, rounding up a bunch of high-energy pop-soul indebted to Motown along with some harmony-heavy hangovers from late-'50s R&B (Milton James' lovely "That's What Love Will Do," the Whispers' "As I Sit Here," the Vows' "I Wanna Chance"). Despite the presence of the latter, this is generally bright, danceable soul so rhythmically infectious that when it does dip into '70s disco, it doesn't feel unnatural even if the glint of the neon production doesn't quite jibe with the rest of the material here. Elsewhere, there are some oddities -- Toussaint McCall's moody protest "Saigon to San Francisco," the Natural Resources Unpolluted's wah-wah-laden groove "Funky with My Stuff," which appears to be a protest but its meaning is fuzzy -- but this is generally exuberant soul exhibiting the sly modernist style of the mid-'60s. Any one of these cuts would brighten any Northern soul mix but the Swans' "Nitty Gritty City" and Smoky & the Bears' "We Together Baby" are especially attractive, and both of the Entertainers IV sides pack a wallop. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine