Killer mid-period work from the 5th Dimension – 4 albums from a time when the group couldn't miss – presented with a bonus track too! Portrait is a wonderful record by group – hip, sophisticated, and one that shows that they had a depth that went beyond simple soul harmonies! The proof of this is the group's killer track "One Less Bell To Answer", one of the frankest songs about adult love and breakup to ever crack the charts in the 60s – but there's plenty of other gems, including "Puppet Man", "Feelin Alright", "A Love Like Ours", "Save The Country", "Dimension 5ive", and the extended medley
of "The Declaration/
Change Is Gonna Come/
People Got To Be Free". The cover to Loves Lines Angles & Rhymes has The 5th Dimension sporting some heavy-duty outfits – and the album's got an equally bold sound to match! The group's still in very familiar territory here – working under the direction of Bones Howe – but they're also completely confident in their bag – stepping out with a solid, punched-up approach to pop – one that draws strongly from the soulful harmonies of the quintet, yet which also has some pointedly personal moments as well. As before, the choice of songs is easily one of the best aspects of the record – and the group do a great cover of "Viva Tirado", plus "What Does It Take To Wind Your Love", "Love's Lines, Angles, & Rhymes", "Time & Love", "Guess Who", and "He's A Runner". Individually & Collectively continues the group's amazing run from the late 60s onward – a sublime blend of the group's great harmonies with standout lead vocals – all produced by Bones Howe, and arranged with help from from Bob Alcivar and Bill
Holman! There's a growing sophistication in the set that we really like – a deeper, more personal feel on some of the lyrics – especially some of the more "adult" styled numbers that always showed that the group was way more than just a simple pop machine. Tracks include a scatting vocal version of the Johnny Alf bossa groover "Sky & Sea", plus "I Didn't Get To Sleep At All", "All Kinds Of People", "Tomorrow Belongs To The Children", "Turn Around To Me", "Band Of Gold", and "Border Song". Living Together Growing Together has the group hitting a new level of sophistication that takes them way beyond the familiar pop of earlier years! There's definitely a more adult feel to some of these tracks than before – a maturing quality that's really wonderful – probably summed up best in the lead vocals of Marilyn McCoo or Florence LaRue – but still sounding pretty great even when the whole group's singing together! Bones Howe is still at the helm, guiding the group with a heavenly sound that's the pinnacle of pop at the time – and titles include two great Burt Bacharach numbers – "Living Together,Growing Together", lifted from the Lost Horizon soundtrack, and "Let Me Be Lonely" – plus the tracks "Woyaya", "What Do I Need To Be Me", "Open Your Window", and "The Riverwitch".