Tuesday, September 01, 2009

It's all Human Nature

Alright, here's an idea. Let's put together four white guys. Take them from Australia. And have them sing Motown songs. You know, Motown, that motor city soul that has its own musical genre named after it. Let's name them Human Nature. I know what you're thinking - who would ever take their chances with that set up? Try Smokey Robinson. Yeah, THAT Smokey Robinson, practically the number two man after Berry Gordy. Who would have thunk it?

Alright, maybe I'm over dramaticizing it a bit. Truth is, the band's been around for a while (since the early 90's), Australia's answer for the boy band craze that swept the world. And, in their defense, they're not just an over-hyped cover band, they have written a lot of material of their own, although that's immaterial for the album at hand, Reach Out, which is an entire album of cover songs, Motown cover songs to be precise. It was actually released back in 2005 overseas, but the group will see US distribution for the first time on September 1st as this album hits shelves exclusively at Barnes & Noble (with full distribution February of next year).

I'll be honest with you, I was somewhat skeptical when I saw what I thought was a gimmick, but I have to give dues where they belong, for the most part, these four joes pull it off pretty darn well. Yes, it is a little glossified. Yes, it is somewhat Vegas'esque (the group is actually booked to play nightly at the Imperial Palace through early next year). Yes, they don't exactly present the definitive versions of any of the songs here, but heck, how could you ever imagine to top The Temptations, The Supremes, etc...? But given all that, the album's pretty darn enjoyable if you let it be. It's a veritable Motown (select) greatest hits album, with even a few cameos by some originals, including Smokey himself, the other Temptations, and Mary Wilson (long lasting Supremes member). If you're a Motown fan, you probably have all these songs anyway, but you still might like this modernized take on timeless soul.

and the original, plus:

The Temptations - Get Ready : Gettin' Ready

The Supremes - Get Ready : A' Go-Go

Rare Earth - Get Ready : Hitsville U.S.A., The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971 [Disc 4]

Visit their website, their label Sony BMG, and become their friend on MySpace.


Jane said...

Surprisingly .... I don't hate this cover. :-)
Interesting post, Sean. I love that Hittsville collection, btw. It introduced me to Brenda Holloway's Every Little Bit Hurts. I haven't thought of it in quite a while, and I might have to dust it off. Thanks.

Sean said...


Glad that you can stomach it! =]

Hitsville - yeah. It's honestly staggering to think about all of the amazing songs that Motown churned out. I have to admit that at heart I'm a Stax kind of man, but even I can't deny the shiny luster of Motown.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE these guys. Checked out their www.humannaturelasvegas.com site and well, was wowed. Going to Veags this Fall to see the Beatles thing AND adding their show to my must see list.

Sean said...


I'd love to check these guys out in Vegas, too. I think they'd definitely be able to put on a very entertaining show. If you get an extra ticket, let me know!

Jewels Diva said...

As a fellow Aussie to Human Nature, most of our country are long time fans, having supported them from way back.

I don't like every song on each cd, but then I'm picky with what I do like.

The boys put on a damn good show regardless of whether you like them, motown, or old songs etc.

Every American should go along and see how damn good they are.

Hope you enjoy the show!!!

Tom Q Public said...

I'd been a bit of an HN fan before, but their Motown releases made me fall in love with them all over again. Nothing compares to the originals, like you said, but these guys do a darn fine job. Would love to see their Vegas show too ... might have to make an effort!


Anonymous said...

long standing aussie diehard fan here, seen the boys too many times to count and have all the albums! I highly recommend buying the album and GO SEE EM! awesomeness. ADELAIDE STILL BELIEVES! u go boys.