The Emotions were four sisters who, as children growing up in Chicago, began their career touring the Midwestern gospel circuit as the Heavenly Sunbeams. Groomed by their association with the Staple Singers, the sisters developed tightly wound harmonies that eventually brought them the attentions of the Philadelphia soul scene in the '60s, as well as a string of R&B hits--two of which, "So I Can Love You" and "Heart's Association," were penned by Isaac Hayes. They disappeared for a few years after that, but resurfaced in 1970 with their first Maurice White collaboration, Flowers. That album's title track was an R&B success, but it never garnered the crossover attention of Rejoice two years later (an album which yielded the classic dance staple "Best of My Love").
In short, side two of this 1972 release is one of the best albums Earth Wind and Fire ever made. EWF leader Maurice White produced a few efforts for other artists (check out Deniece Williams' This Is Niecy, also from '72 ), but none as fully satisfying as this. Lead-off song "How'd I Know That Love Would Slip Away" has all the snap, crackle, and head-bobbing pop of anything Maurice and the boys released in the '70s. The ballad "Don't Ask My Neighbors" caresses in lovely incense, wine, and candle fashion. The two closing cuts, "Blessed" and "Rejoice," kick the album back into gear and close it with perfection.