This is a very good pairing of probably the two best albums that Bobby Womack made in the 1980s. Overall, the songs may not be quite as memorable as his landmark recordings from the 1970s, but the tunes are still very soulful and very high in quality. The biggest negative about this resissue is the cheap packaging. You get plenty of music for your money (nearly 78 minutes) on a single disc, but there is no booklet or anything resembling adequate liner notes to accompany the CD. They don't even list the original recording dates of these two albums! Shameful.
The first album, "The Poet" was released in 1981 and hailed as Womack's big comeback at the time. It starts off with the the sweet "So Many Sides of You," a tune that uses reggae rhythms not unlike Stevie Wonder's "Master Blaster", a song that was a huge hit the year before. I think that song might have inspired Mr. Womack. The rest of the material on "The Poet" is quite strong, ranging from sweet soul ballads to funkier uptempo numbers. The other album, "The Poet II", came out in 1984 and was more of a mixed bag, but still pretty darn good. It also included duets with Patti Labelle on three tracks. Others guests include the Crusaders' Wilton Felder on horns, and various members of the extended Womack musical family.
If you enjoy this era of R&B and soul music, these two albums are well worth your attention. But next time they think about reissuing these two fine album, why not beef up the package and give us a proper booklet with essay and liner notes? Bobby Womack and his music deserve better treatment.