Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Smokey Robinson: Where There's Smoke . . . [Tamla, 1979]
Most of Smokey's finest solo album is in the sexy do-the-rock mode of his biggest solo hit, "Cruisin'." Motown purists-come-lately will no doubt be miffed at the snappy discofication of "Get Ready" that opens the "Cruisin'" side. But what cavils will they level at the new songs on side one, which modernize the man's concise, smoldering romanticism with a zip and flair that seemed lost to him years ago? Never count a soul man out--never. A-