Going Back

Rod Stewart, Michael McDonald and now Phil Collins — for veteran rockers, the Motown cover album has become an all-too-familiar move. Collins' love of the music is genuine — remember his sweetly slavish cover of "You Can't Hurry Love"? — and his curatorial skills are top-drawer, mixing big hits ("Going to a Go-Go") with lesser-known chestnuts (Martha and the Vandellas' "In My Lonely Room"). But he's not a soul singer; he can't summon the fervor that pushed Motown hits from bubblegum toward gospel exaltation. He's better on the melancholy title track, which wasn't a Motown song at all — it was a minor hit for the Byrds in 1967.

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