Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes (1971) was the 5th Dimension's (5D) sixth studio album in less than four years. Yet their profuse prolificacy -- not to mention numerous television and personal appearances -- did not have any apparent effect on the quality of their output. As this collection proves, quite the opposite is the case, as Lamonte McLemore, Ron Townson, Billy Davis, Jr., Marilyn McCoo, and Florence LaRue have never sounded better -- together, or as soloists. They begin in familiar territory with the first of two Laura Nyro covers on the upbeat "Time and Love." Bones Howe had initially pitched the song to be included on a Diana Ross project that the longtime 5D producer/arranger had concurrently been working on. Ultimately, the powers that be at Motown rejected it and Ross' loss became the 5D's gain. Here, it recalls Nyro's own "Lu" and "Timer." The title track "Love's Lines, Angels and Rhymes" made it into the Top 20 pop singles survey thanks to its refined score and McCoo's voice, as it weaves between the slightly shadowy chord changes. Another standout is the interpretation of Junior Walker's "What Does It Take" that -- while it sticks fairly close to the original -- benefits from the additional textures that the 5D's harmonies provide. "Viva Tirado" is a fascinating union of a previously existing melody -- which was penned a decade early by Los Angeles bandleader Gerald Wilson in honor of Mexican toreador Jose Ramon Tirado. Thanks to Norman Gimble's fresh words, the tune gets a new lyrical lease on life. The anthemic Broadway show tune "Light Sings" -- from the short-lived The Me Nobody Knows (1970) -- recalls the hit love-fest that the 5D made out of another modern stage musical with "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)" from Hair (1969). The group's dramatic license on Nilsson's "Rainmaker" is perfectly matched to Townson's hearty lead. "He's a Runner" is the album's second Nyro remake and McCoo brings to life lines such as "...Woman ain't been born who can make him stay..." with a gritty and realistic Americana feel. On the closer, the 5D do what they do best by giving a shot of soul and flawless vocal harmonies to Paul McCartney's early solo deep cut "Every Night."
In 2007, Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes was finally issued on CD in North America by Collectors' Choice Music, who paired it with its long- playing predecessor Portrait (1970). ~ Lindsay Planer