Review ·

Earth, Wind, and Fire is one of the most influential R&B acts of the twentieth century, responsible for classic, iconic tunes. Stax has assembled a top-notch roster of soul, R&B, jazz, and gospel talent to reinterpret said songs -- Chaka Khan, Angie Stone, Bilal, Dwele, Musiq Soulchild, and Me'Shell Ndegeocello are involved. But despite the incredibly high pedigree and talent, the interpretations sound more like simple covers. Dwele and Ndegeocello fare the best: Dwele adds his signature phrasing and funky neo-soul presence to "That's The Way of the World," and Ndegeocello turns "Fantasy" into a retro-rock-flavored anthem. The collection of talent is a joy to listen to, but it's the strength of the material that saves the day: "Be Ever Wonderful," "Reasons," and "Devotion" are as striking today as they were thirty years ago.

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Label: http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/earthwindandfire

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