Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Patti Austin - Patti Austin
Side one opens with “It’s Gonna Be Special”. Released also on the Two of a Kind soundtrack, this first single went to number 82 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 15 on the US Billboard R&B chart, and number 5 on the US Billboard Dance chart. As I said in that album’s review last December (click here for that), I like the island rhythms on this track. It is the first of three compositions by the team of Clif Magness and Glen Ballard.
“Rhythm of the Street”, a mid-tempo dance tune about growing up restless in an urban environment, went to number 11 on the US Billboard Dance chart. I like the percussion on this one, done by one of the album’s producers Narada (Michael Walden). It gives the song a great energy level
Things slow with “All Behind Us Now”, a ballad about moving forward after a break-up. It was written and produced by David Pack, the lead singer of Ambrosia.
“Hot! In the Flames of Love” brings back the groove with a smoldering and sultry plea for passion.
“Change Your Attitude”, the B-side to the third single, is the second track by Magness and Ballard. Here, Austin delivers a stern wake up call backed by a strong dance beat.
Side two starts with the mid-tempo “Shoot the Moon”, also written by Magness and Ballard. This third single went to number 49 on the US Billboard R&B chart and number 16 on the US Billboard Dance chart. The song is all about taking a chance on love.
“I’ve Got My Heart Set on You” bounces along next.
I like the bass on the next track “Fine Fine Fella (Got to Have You)”.
“Starstruck” fits perfectly into the mid-80’s dance scene. This one is right in line with the tunes I would party to each weekend when I went out to the clubs.
On the album‘s closer “Any Way You Can”, Michael McDonald played keyboards. He also co-wrote the beautiful ballad with Pack.
I enjoyed my first exposure to the Patti Austin album in doing this review. It is a solid collection of ten R&B tracks; I think having a variety of writers and producers across them did not have a negative effect on the album at all. Austin’s strong vocals provide the ribbon that ties it all together. If I had heard this one back in 1984, I know I would have enjoyed it as much as I did now.