Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Except for a set of pre-rock pop standards, Smokey Robinson has been largely absent this decade. He returns here with the smooth "quiet storm" vibe he invented on his 1975 album of the same name, duetting with Joss Stone and India.Arie on a pair of wind-chime-romantic ballads and turning in an inspired (if somewhat unnecessary) remake of the J5's "I Want You Back." But when he puts his sterling tenor to the slow-burning funk of "One Time" and the Carlos Santana-assisted "Please Don't Take Your Love," it's clear where young Michael got much of his groove. There's nothing quite so effervescent as, say, "Mickey's Monkey," but how many miracles do you need?

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