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Smokey Robinson breezes through all-star duets on 'Smokey & Friends'
Smokey Robinson breezes through all-star duets on 'Smokey & Friends'

Gather your best-known hits and divvy them up among your pals and admirers: It’s become a go-to move for musicians of a certain age, including John Fogerty, Tony Bennett and Lionel Richie, who scored an unexpected No. 1 album in 2012 with “Tuskegee.” So it was only a matter of time until Smokey Robinson, the R&B legend with a trove of classic tunes, got into the act. But if the all-star duets record is beginning to feel like a legacy-burnishing obligation, Robinson, 74, sidesteps that vibe on the breezy “Smokey & Friends,” a would-be museum piece with some real air in it. That’s partly due to the fact that Robinson still sounds like a singer on...

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