This self titled album is fantastic solo work from Smokey – recorded a few years before his monumental Quiet Storm album, but with a very similar high level of quality! Willie Hutch co-produced the album with Smokey, and working with arrangements by Hutch and Gene Page, they transform Smokey's sound into a sophisticated 70s modern one, adding in slight touches of funk, and complicated backings that really let him open up as a singer, both vocally and emotionally. The whole thing's got a wonderful mellow soul groove, and titles include "Wanna Know My Mind", "Baby Come Close", "The Family Song", "Just My Soul Responding", "Holly", "A Silent Partner In A Three-Way Love Affair", and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" Quiet Storm is incredible – a record that should be in every household! Smokey breaks free of the group sound of the Miracles albums – hitting a whole new mode, and inventing the "Quiet Storm" radio format along the way! The title cut – "Quiet Storm" – is a majestic long-building track that's as important to mellow soul as Larry Mizell's work was to jazz funk at the same time, and it's got a similar layering effect that has sounds building and spinning, with a bit of sound effects, great keyboards, and cool moogy touches that recall some of Bobbi Humphrey's best work for Blue Note, but filtered through a mellow ballad style. The whole album's great, and other tracks include "Baby That's Backatcha", "The Agony & The Ecstasy", "Coincidentally", and "Wedding Song". Proof that Motown was still great in the 70s!
(Out of print.)