Two albums and bonus tracks too – all rare material from an overlooked chapter of The Shirelles' career! First up is Happy & In Love, a great second chapter for The Shirelles – hardly the girl group pop they cut in the 60s, and instead a more righteous soul style for the 70s – in a mode that's like Honey Cone or Three Degrees
! The backings are nice and soulful – almost funky at times – with arrangements from George Andrews and Joe Scott that mix fuller strings with tighter grooves at the core – in a way that really sets the vocals free amidst some very interesting material! Had the girls only cut this record, it might have been a 70s soul hit – but it's unfortunately gotten lost to the shifting sands of time because it's not as iconic as their hits. Don't make that mistake, though, because the album's a real charmer – and titles include "Boy You're Too Young", "There's Nothing In This World", "It's Gonna Take A Miracle", "Take Me", "We Got A Lot Of Lovin To Do", and "Strange I Still Love You". The 1972 album The Shirelles is surprisingly great later work by The Shirelles – nice and soulful, thanks to arrangements from David Van De Pitte and Wade Marcus – both of whom push the trio way past their roots, into more sophisticated group soul for the 70s! The approach carries the best (then) contemporary styles from New York and Philly – particularly that strong way of mixing group vocals with focused grooves – as you'd hear from some of the more successful male groups of the time on RCA, like Main Ingredient or Choice Four. The Shirelles have a strong sense of harmony that really pushes the tunes forward – and the material is nice and creative – with titles that include "Walk On In", "Brother Brother", "Sunday Dreaming", "Ain't No Sunshine", "Let's Stay Together", "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart", and "Drowning In The Sea Of Love". CD also features bonus tracks – "Let's Give Each Other Love", "Do What You've A Mind To", and "Touch The Wind".