Picks and Pans Review: Masterpiece

updated 01/20/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/20/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Isley Brothers

The longevity of such bands as the Rolling Stones and the Kinks, who have been around since the early '60s, is remarkable. But the Isley Brothers are the real survivors. Since leaving Cincinnati in 1956, Ronald, Rudolph and O'Kelly Isley have created classics on the order of Twist and Shout, It's Your Thing and That Lady. They're still making vibrant and attractive music. Younger family members have formed the trio Isley/ Jasper/ Isley, which performs excellent funk music. Rather than compete with that splinter group, the senior Isleys usually keep the dial set on mellow. Only one Masterpiece song was written by the brothers (the up-tempo May I), but they have borrowed well, especially Phil Collins' If Leaving Me Is Easy and Charlie Rich's old country hit The Most Beautiful Girl. These are love songs that are romantic without being sappy and are a good setting for Ronald's sweetly impassioned voice. Given the competition in the Isleys' long history, this album doesn't quite live up to its title. But it does make clear the value of maturity in pop music. (Warner Brothers)

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