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"Maybe Tomorrow" came as the third album from The Jackson 5 in 1971. Off a string of clear hard work (which produced four whole records in their first two years active as 'The Jackson 5'). With it, we have the five of them, headed by the late Michael, coming with a mix of Soul, Funk and Pop material.
1. "Maybe Tomorrow"
They set things off with the titular track to the album, a ballad which lightly eases us into the album. On it, we find that they do a great job at giving us a good idea of what to expect from this release and where they plan to take things in the future with their music. I can't say that I really thought all that much to this and that there's much better work from them, but I'm sure more saw more in it than I did.
2. "She's Good"
A relatively short one, we see that here we have them pushing forward another pretty passive tune and a little something that I thought was held back by a lack of catchiness. It has Jermaine taking on the lead vocal role and he seems to do a pretty decent job and taking the group where they need to be and getting a gentle swing going here on the record to set up where things are to develop for them later.
3. "Never Can Say Goodbye"
Shifting back towards a more normal state, we find that here Michael is handed back the prime role in the group. Just 12 at the time, he comes to deliver a powerful one where he shows just how well he is able to connect to the lyrics which Clifton Davis wrote. An emotive piece, I thought that it led to a bit of a lift on the album as we get back towards the quality that we expect more of the act at this time.
4. "The Wall"
They stick at things in the way that they've been going up to this time as we get them pulling out another track basing its lyrics upon relationships. I felt as though this was wearing thin though and resultantly it meant that it was a little harder to get down with. They are seen to try to brighten things up by increase the tempo and amkign it sound much more exciting, but it wasn't as enegertic as they intended it to be.
We finally get the sort of lively piece that we've been looking to get since the album started. Using melodies heard on many of their hits up to this point, it sounded as though The Corporation (behind the writing and production of their material) were trying to work off the success of past hits they recorded since debuting in 1969 and although it sounds decent, it's really nothing special at all.
6. "Sixteen Candles"
A track originally performed by The Crests, we see that here we get a nice little piece from the act as here they throw down a track dedicated to a girl on her Sweet Sixteenth birthday. I thought that it was another nice song, but nothing that you're really going to get all that excited about and so it doesn't really do all that you may want to get from a tune like it. Jermaine gets the lead role, but does little with it again.
7. "Blue Skies"
Slowing things down even further than they already were, we find that with this one we have them performing a smooth tune, and a little something that is bound to get you swaying along to what they deliver. I really can't say that I felt much for this as we see yet more of the samey material that we're had through the rest of the album and nothing more than the generic watered-down Soul.
8. "My Little Baby"
They finally pick things up (at the perfect time when you know what the song after it has to offer) as here they come out with a much more fun piece and a little something that has them pushing forward more of the exciting stuff that will have attracted you to the act at the time. There's a lot to like about this one as we see how they attack things with lots of raw bass and catchy hooks to pull you in.
9. "It's Great To Be Here"
Here they hit us with the biggest jam that the album has to offer. A track that you really can't do without, it see them showing just how intense the Funk side of their music was as you see just how hardcore their breaks are (to the point where Puff Daddy, Jermaine Dupri and Wiz Khalifa have all had to sample it at some point. I thought that it was the best on the album and it springs out as you as it opens-up.
10. "Honey Chile"
A feel-good piece, I thought that this was the kind of thing that the early parts of the album was missing. We see that Michael really brightens things up and gets you in the mood that you expect from a Bubblegum Pop act such as this one. The production to it is on-point and completes the thing as they try out a few new things to see what else they are able to pack into their music and leave us on a good impression of this release.
11. "I Will Find A Way"
The album ends well and forces you to wonder why the record was orded as it was. I thought that it was a killer tune and on that shows you just how well-rounded the act were in their heyday. Here Michael is replaced by Jermaine again for the lead vocals, and although I can't say that I thought it matter here who did it, it seemed to work well and leave the album on a high that you won't forget about.
I thought that this was another example of a typical Jackson 5 album in terms of consistency. Here we have massive fluxuations between weak and strong tunes and it makes for a piece that you'll find difficult to get down with as a result. Towards the end things really do pick up and they remind you of what you came here for.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Maybe Tomorrow
2 She's Good
3 Never Can Say Goodbye
6 Sixteen Candles
7 We've Got Blue Skies
8 My Little Baby
9 It's Great To Be Here
10 Honey Chile
11 I Will Find A Way