| ||This is one of the most ridiculous reviews yet written on this site. You go on this aimless rally full of pretentious psychobabble about the history behind this album, but fall pathetically short when attempting to explain how the album was prematurely released and without Gaye's consent. Parts of the review seem lazy and nonchalant as you forgot to include the infamous question mark in the title alone. Evidently, you didn't really do your homework too well. Yes, In Our Lifetime? was hastily mixed and recording sessions were scattershot, but your attack against this album undermined the fact that Gaye should not be held accountable. The release of this album led to a break up with Motown and a rejuvenation with Columbia to record and release 1982's Midnight Love. Although arguably inessential, In Our Lifetime? remains a brilliantly unfinished document exploring the turmoil that had infested Gaye's troubled conscience. Although incomplete, it has the bare essentials of a masterpiece. It cannot be held up against its predecessors because of its unfinished nature, and In Our Lifetime? is the dark horse of the Gaye canon. The smart thing for you to do would be to write a review on 1976's criminally underrated I Want You. That album has never enjoyed the same critical success as its predecessors and the reasons aren't well justified. Instead, you wasted time pissing on this tragically forgotten unpolished diamond and you leave more logic and considerate people like me to clean up the mess. |
| ||I do actually explain that the album was released without Gaye's permission, and that he disavowed it, and that that exculpates him to an extent. But the question of whether Motown were right to release it or not is a far more complex one because of Gaye's many psychological problems, drug problems, and the details of his contract to Motown which are not known. It's difficult to say, so I leave it open - but he isn't entirely blameless as you seem to suggest. Saying "Gaye should not be held accountable" and "arguably inessential" but then calling it a "tragically forgotten unpolished diamond" is very confusing.
I'm a big Marvin Gaye fan, as I confessed, but this is not a good album. I Want You is great (it's no Let's Get It On), but I reviewed this because it's just been re-issued. If someone wants to re-issue I Want You I'd be glad to review it.|
| ||Agreed -- this review is seriously half-assed. If anything, this record has been CRYING out for a double-disc reissue -- precisely because of its troubled birth. In addition to what imaqt4realz hits on, I'd point out that "Funk Me" is one of Gaye's most infectious tunes, lyrics notwithstanding. "Far Cry" is fascinating and sounds utterly complete -- the fact that Gaye's just kind of moaning about going to a party is illustrative of how many layers the song has already, including a great atmospheric swing piano break. And you don't remotely go into how the God/sensuality themes relate to Gaye's struggles at the time, instead just decrying them as "preachy." Yes, well, thanks for that. The one song that DOES deserve criticism is "Ego Trippin' Out" -- a largely failed experiment -- but you don't go into it in any detail whatsoever. There's no question the record is overstuffed and heavy-handed -- "In Our Lifetime?" is a seriously weird, flawed, but fascinating record -- I just can't believe you didn't bother going into WHY.|