For Lovers Only
Growing up in Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church back in Brownsville, PA, I learned that there are three things against which one must never profane: the Messiah (of course), Martin Luther King, and The Temptations. Now, how true I’ve stayed to this commandment is not important. However, with that command stamped to my cortex, it is extremely difficult to write this review.
One must keep in mind that this 1995 release (this is a re-issue) doesn’t exactly catch the Temps at their finest. By this time, everybody except Otis Williams was gone. No Melvin Franklin, of course no David Ruffin or Eddie Kendricks; hell, even Dennis Edwards was long gone by then. In fact, if it weren’t for Otis’s presence, it would probably be illegal to call it a “Temptations” release.
So, what we have here is a bunch of guys under the moniker that has brought such classics as “I Wish It Would Rain,” “Ball Of Confusion,” even the somewhat regrettable “Treat Her Like a Lady” without any of the legendary talent. For Lovers Only is a watered-down drink in a hung-over dawn. With the sap just oozing from producer Phil Perry’s every pore, we get “smooth jazz flavors” from pretenders to the throne. “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Night And Day,” and “Life is But a Dream” are but a handful of classics that get the “Quiet Storm” treatment. Of course, if you’re of the Courvoisier, shiny jogging suit set, this re-issue’s probably a Mack Daddy gift from the gods. Personally, though, I have to debate whether one must be contrite in order to do penance for blaspheming against The Temptations. ‘Cause I sure don’t feel guilty about hating this album.