Monday, September 15, 2014
Jeffrey Osborne - Don't Stop
The album was produced by George Dukes, who also provided keyboard and piano. Steve Ferrone was on drums, Paul Jackson Jr. and Michael Sembello on guitar, and Abraham Laboriel on bass. Syreeta Wright and Tremaine Hawkins provided backing vocals.
Side one begins with the up-tempo title track. “Don’t Stop” was released as the first single; it went to number 61 in the UK, number 44 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 6 on the US Billboard R&B chart.
“Let Me Know”, the third single, reached number 44 on the US Billboard R&B chart. It is a smooth ballad that allows Osborne show his sensitive side as he asks his lady to let him know what her heart feels.
The second single “The Borderlines” stalled at number 98 in the UK yet got to number 38 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 7 on the US Billboard R&B chart. The guitar riff and the steady drumbeats keep this tale of romance and espionage tight and tense.
“The Power” is an up-tempo track full of inspiration and motivation.
Side two opens with the question “Is It Right”, a track that to me sounds a lot rhythmically like his hit “Stay With Me Tonight” from a year prior.
Osborne goes a bit tongue-in-cheek with “You Can’t Be Serious”, a dance groove about a supposed alien abduction.
The B-side to the second single was “Crazy ‘Bout Cha”, a track that could easily have been a slow dance contender at the clubs back in the day.
The record shifts into a full out rock-mode with the scorching “Hot Coals”.
The record closes out on a softer note with the mid-tempo “Live For Today”, a song full of hope and inspiration.
Outside of the singles which would have gotten airplay on the radio and in the clubs back in 1984, much of Don’t Stop was new to me with this listen. For a first pass, I liked it. Jeffrey Osborne has one of those underappreciated voices of 80’s R&B, and the production on the album is solid. I plan to revisit it again in the near future and add it to my music library.
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