One of the surprise standouts of the early 1970s dearth of Blaxploitation soundtracks for one simple reason: flawed, God-like genius Marvin Gaye produced and wrote the whole damned thing! Next to What's Going On and Here, My Dear, this stands as one of the Midnight Lover's finest all-the-way through outings. The track is of course "T Plays It Cool," one of sickest monster funk breaks ever - in fact, to call it a break is bit of a misnomer, 'cause that gotdamned beat goes through the whole track! The album also includes the amazing "Trouble Man," the movie's eerie, ethereally pretty theme. It slips in and out of semi-free jazz moments that color Marvin's spooky, falsetto observation that "there's only three things that's for sure- taxes, death, and trouble." As evidenced in mood pieces like "The Break In," the record as a whole benefits from Motown's crack session players, who lend the whole affair an air of urbane, sophisticated funk. The remainder of the 14 tracks here are straight instrumentals and mood setters like "Cleo's Apartment," with Marvin adding occasional vocal highlighting. 2015 pressing from Motown as part of the Respect The Classics reissue series. You need this in your life.
- 2015 reissue, originally released in 1972
- part of the Respect The Classics reissue series
- written and produced soundtrack by Marvin Gaye
- music label: Motown 1972 / 2015
reviewed by Language 05/2009