Smokey Robinson, "Time Flies When You're Having Fun"

80 Billboard Rating

Smokey Robinson has gotten heated in recent comments regarding the media's coverage of Michael Jackson's death, but on the follow-up to his 2006 standards set, "Timeless Love," Robinson couldn't sound more relaxed. "Time Flies When You're Having Fun" is a mellow vintage-soul disc that finds the Motown maestro in remarkably fine voice as he flexes his signature falsetto over supple, unhurried live-band arrangements long on tasty licks and laid-back grooves. Nine out of the album's 10 tracks are new originals, including "Please Don't Take Your Love," which features a guitar solo from Carlos Santana, and "You're the One for Me," the sultry Joss Stone duet that the pair premiered on "American Idol" in March. And the 10th? A hushed piano-bar rendition of Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why." Who knew that tune could get any smoother? --Mikael Wood

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