Sunday, March 4, 2012

Atlantic Starr - Brilliance

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the fourth studio album by Atlantic Starr, an R&B group that originated in the White Plains, New York area. Brilliance was certified Gold in the US, reaching number 18 on the Billboard Hot 200 and number 1 on the R&B album charts. It produced a quartet of singles, three of which did very well on the R&B charts.

Side one opens with “Love Me Down”, which was released as the second single and went all the way to number 14 on the US R&B charts. I like its funky disco groove provided by Clifford Archer on bass. Sharon Bryant takes the lead vocals on this smooth serenade to loving.

“Sexy Dancer” is a solid groove about a seductive woman on the dance floor. I definitely find its rhythms to be pretty irresistible; this mid-tempo number would be a good one to work out to.

“Love Moves” keeps the boogie going with another song to slide about the dance floor to.

It is time to slow things down a bit with the ballad “Your Love Finally Ran Out”, the final single from the album. The lyrics tell of a love that has gone wrong, where the woman has realized she no longer loves her man.

Side two starts with “Circles”, the first single. I went to number 38 on the US Billboard Top-40, number 9 on the US Dance and number 2 on the US R&B charts. This mid-tempo dance number, sung by Bryant, questions the mixed signals that the woman is receiving from her man.

“Let’s Get Closer” slows things down again with a song about taking the relationship to the next level. I like the subtle use of the synthesizers on this one.

The third single “Perfect Love” reached number 32 on the US R&B charts.

“You’re the One” closes the album on a mid-tempo note with Bryant once more on the microphone. It is all about coming to the realization that she has found Mister Right.

What I really like about Atlantic Starr is the variety they present across eight songs. With a group that contains nine members, you get a number of different folks taking the lead vocals (giving the songs both male and female perspectives). They are also a full band with guitars, keyboards, drums, and various horns. That makes for a rich sound.

In 1982, Brilliance would have been right at home in my music library. Atlantic Starr was one of those bands transitioning from the 70’s disco scene to the 80’s dance clubs. I am certain if I had been able to hit the dance clubs that year (I was still just a junior in high school when the album was released) a number of these tracks would have been played prominently.

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