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RONEE MARTIN: – Come On Through My Door
(US BLTN Music, 2005)
Get Real - Giving Up - My Guy - Little Sister - Round And Round - Come On Through My Door - I Wish You All The Best - I'm Sorry For Leaving You

Ronee Martin is an undiscovered treasure for most, I would imagine. Her first album was released in 1987, and we then had a decade's silence until Ronee resurfaced on MoJazz with her superb vocal cut"As Long As I'm Loving You", on "People Make The World Go Round". Her Mojazz debut CD, "Soul Of My Heart", was to be released in April 1997 but the transition at Motown at that time did not favour adult orientated music, and so that was the last that I heard from this lovely Lady. Until now that is. She bounces back on the scene with a very satisfying album called "Come On Through My Door".

There are only 8 tracks on offer but I think everyone will agree that there is definately something on it for their ears. This is very well crafted and profusely directed. The instrumentation is all real and the overall feeling is that older and more sophisticated ears will appreciate it more. Some may see this set as mainly MOR but I have no real problem with that if that is the case. I would liken most tracks musically to the high standards that Gladys Knight would employ. Think "Where Would I Be" from 1991's "Good Woman" CD and you're roughly in the zone I am trying to get across to you. In fact Ann Nesby also comes to mind and some of her more sophisticated, mellower moments spring to mind. Musically and vocally we are talking classy, sophisticated and adult.

As for me, I really did hit on the opening track which is simply brilliant. "Get Real" is a fantastic piece of quality soul co-written with the superb Valerie Pinkston from Chapter 8. Produced by Marquis "Hami" Dair the vibes and Rhodes all merge to make a heavenly track for a laid back summer's day. Echoes of Rhonda Thomas spring to me - "Passion Plea" is an apt comparison. Herman Jackson produces the gentle and very Ann Nesby / Gladys Knight orientated "Giving Up". I can also hear Patti LaBelle making good on this sort of song, too.

The only low point for me is the reworking of The Temptations' "My Girl" into "My Guy". I don't feel this working, and it definitely does not work well within the confines of the material on this CD. I do feel that some more mid-uptempo material would be welcome, and I know that Ronee definitely can deliver on this.

The quality returns on the strong and positive "Little Sister" which is better than anything you will hear on any CD by these so-called and erroneous modern day Divas. "Round And Round", "Come On Through My Door", "I Wish You All The Best" and "I'm Sorry For Leaving You" are classy numbers - not exactly to my taste, but I know a lot of people who will love this material as Ronee's vocals are elegant, regal and perfectly matched to this material.

Again, Motown lost a great deal of talent when the "homeboy hike" occurred with the coming of André Harrell - Ronee was one of the talents. Please check this CD out at CD Baby. I highly recommend it for track one alone! Do not overlook.
- Barry Towler

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