Liner Note Author: Mick Patrick.
Recording information: Phase-O-Phonic Sound.
The ninth volume of Ace's ongoing girl group chronicle Where the Girls Are relies on a few new-to-CD singles, along with three unreleased recordings from the vaults. This is collector bait but, by this point, the hallmark of the series is that it doesn't concentrate on the familiar; it excavates the interesting tunes beloved -- or perhaps desired -- by collectors. As such, there isn't much surprise in sound or format here but that's fine: anybody dialing into this collection will want to hear Spector arrangements, florid harmonies, and heartbreak, which is precisely what this compilation delivers. A few cuts dazzle -- the melodrama of the Bitter Sweets' "What a Lonely Way to Start the Summertime," the swinging style of Evie Sands' "Billy Sunshine," the Motown rhythms of Lena Calhoun & the Emotions' "I Can Tell (I'm Losing Your Love)" -- but the appeal of Where the Girls Are, Vol. 9 is the consistency, how it delivers the sound you love without ever serving up a dull moment...something that's pretty impressive nine volumes into a series. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine