Records: Soul

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Various Artists: Marvin is 60 (Motown)

The first release by new Motown supremo Kedar Massenburg (the man behind the careers of retro-styled soul stars D'Angelo, Eryka Badu and Chico DeBarge), this tribute album to Marvin Gaye represents a return to first principles for the once mighty label. A collection of contemporary R&B stars cover 13 songs by the blessed Marvin, who would have celebrated his 60th birthday in April if he hadn't been shot by his father the day before his 45th in 1984. Most of the contributions are so completely respectful of the originals that they fail to transcend them. But it's a sweet-voiced and tasteful tribute all the same, with the duet of D'Angelo and Eryka Badu on "Your Precious Love" and Chico DeBarge's "Til Tomorrow" particularly effective. A limited edition of the CD includes an extra disc of Marvin's original versions.