10 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Stylistics cemented their reputation as the prettiest and most affable group on the scene with their 1972 sophomore album, Round 2. “You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)” and “I’m Stone in Love with You” pick up where the first round of Stylistics hits left off, only this time the songs feel even softer, even cleaner, even catchier. A rendition of Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” implies that The Stylistics might be soul music’s answer to the singer/songwriter movement, although Thom Bell’s arrangement dramatizes King’s simple tune in ways that she'd probably never envisioned. By the same token, it’s not hard to imagine King doing an earthy, piano-driven version of “Break Up to Make Up,” which is still one of The Stylistics' best songs. Bell brought moments of cinematic grandeur to likeminded groups like The O’Jays and The Spinners, but The Stylistics were really at their best when guided by nothing more than slow-motion, featherbed harmonies, as on “You’re Right as Rain.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Stylistics cemented their reputation as the prettiest and most affable group on the scene with their 1972 sophomore album, Round 2. “You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)” and “I’m Stone in Love with You” pick up where the first round of Stylistics hits left off, only this time the songs feel even softer, even cleaner, even catchier. A rendition of Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” implies that The Stylistics might be soul music’s answer to the singer/songwriter movement, although Thom Bell’s arrangement dramatizes King’s simple tune in ways that she'd probably never envisioned. By the same token, it’s not hard to imagine King doing an earthy, piano-driven version of “Break Up to Make Up,” which is still one of The Stylistics' best songs. Bell brought moments of cinematic grandeur to likeminded groups like The O’Jays and The Spinners, but The Stylistics were really at their best when guided by nothing more than slow-motion, featherbed harmonies, as on “You’re Right as Rain.”

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