Released on the eve of their 50th anniversary, Still Here
is the Temptations
' first album of original material since 2004’s Legacy
. The group’s handful of attempts to relate to younger listeners fall flat. “Shawtyismygirlooyeah” would have greatly benefited from a more age-appropriate slang term, and “Change Has Come” is an unflattering, blustery production involving tension-raising synthetic string stabs à la Coolio
’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” and a scrawling guitar. There’s also some unnecessary use of Auto-Tune, a trick that detracts from “One of a Kind Lady,” one of the album’s stronger songs. Otherwise, the album is heavy on laid-back love songs that are easy to enjoy, if occasionally on the tepid side. Unsurprisingly, nothing is lacking in the vocal performances from Otis Williams
and his partners, best heard on “Listen Up” (“Pull your pants up!” interjection aside), a halting, politically charged number with an uplifting chorus.