Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Detroit Emeralds

  • Do Me Right [Westbound, 1971] B
  • You Want It, You Got It [Westbound, 1972] B+
  • I'm in Love With You [Westbound, 1973] B
  • Feel the Need [Westbound, 1977] B-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Do Me Right [Westbound, 1971]
The title tune is pure dance groove, quite distinctive: I'd compare it to a locomotive, only it's smoother, maybe a diesel. The other good stuff is less distinctive: after the "you make me wanna moan" bit I would have sworn my man Al had indulged in a little label-jumping, but the real culprit is probably coproducer W. Mitchell. B

You Want It, You Got It [Westbound, 1972]
This record, which seems ordinary enough until you hear it standing up, breaks a lot of rules. The Emeralds are stay-at-home Spinners, and Abrim Tilmon, who writes (and helps sing) their material and is credited with coarranging an album that lists no producer or personnel, is Thom Bell without an instinct for the killer hook. But side two proves that it doesn't take road dues or a surefire sales catch to make seamless, soulful dance music--I've got to move, indeed. And except for something silly about the lure of the sea, side one won't turn anybody off either. B+

I'm in Love With You [Westbound, 1973]
You probably wouldn't play this one again except for "Whatcha Gonna Wear Tomorrow," but you do, and it grows on you, and you hum it sometimes, so you play it some more, and then you get tired of it and put it away and don't expect you'll ever play it again. B

Feel the Need [Westbound, 1977]
If the first version of the early disco classic this album is named after, then entitled "Feel the Need in Me," moved like a crack diesel, quickening one whole side of what would have been a pretty good LP in any case, then the remade track moves more like a monorail. And while in the end I don't appreciate the streamlining (especially since the B side is quite extraneous) it still sounds pretty good. B-