When I posted about Herbie Hancock's 1982 album, Lite Me Up, I called that album the sequel to Qunicy Jones' The Dude. I stand corrected - this Patti Austin album is the sequel to The Dude. That means that this album features Jones' impressive production prowess more so than Austin's vocals. I could see where a critic might say that any vocalist could have recorded this album with Q, but I'm not sure I'm ready to go that far.
After recording 4 jazz albums for Creed Taylor on the CTI label, Austin redirects her talents here to adult contemporary R&B and helps kick off Quincy Jones' fledgling Qwest label.
Rod Temperton (who wrote the best slow jam of all time) penned four of the tracks here and there's plenty of recognizable names in the playing credits: Greg Phillinganes, David Foster, Richard Tee, Bob James, Steve Lukather, Eric Gale, Ralph MacDonald, Ernie Watts, Jerry Hey, etc.
I've read complaints that the CD version contains some edited/remixed tracks, but since I never heard the original vinyl or cassette, I'm blissfully oblivious to any differences. That's good, because such things would irk me to the point of needlessly hindering my listening pleasure.
Press of the time:
- Billboard: "sleek, sophisticated hybrid of pop and r&b "
- CashBox: "a contemporary R&B alchemist's dream"
- Record World: "much anticipated"
- Stereo Review: "I've never heard an album of hers that did not light my inner fire"
- Musician: "pretty much an extension of Quincy's last album, The Dude, and contains the same hits and misses."
- US Billboard Top 200: #36
- Billboard Jazz LPs: #9
- Billboard R&B albums: #16
- CashBox albums: #62
- CashBox jazz albums: #12
- Rolling Stone: #43
- Do You Love Me (#24 R&B, #1 Dance): a high-energy album opener, penned by Temperton. Nice work by Lukather - too bad it's covered up in the mix.
- Love Me To Death: I like the groove, but there's not much melody in the verse and not much of a hook in the call-and-response chorus.
- The Way I Feel: the verse is very similar to the previous track, but when the chorus first takes off then modulates, it's fantastic.
- Every Home Should Have One (#62 pop, #55 R&B, #24 AC): I doubt these lyrics would have been written these days (condensed version: every home should have a good woman to take care of her man). Nonetheless, there's some catchy hooks here and Austin is finally allowed to show a little personality.
- Baby, Come To Me (#1 pop, #9 R&B, #1 AC): a classic duet with James Ingram that topped the charts with a little help from exposure on the soap opera General Hospital. It's Patti's album, but it's Ingram who brings the goods here.
- The Genie: on the same 12" single with Do You Love Me that reached #1 Dance and the groove and tempo are practically the same, so that makes sense. The bridge is better than the verse is better than the chorus. I keep waiting for the Lukather solo that never happens.
- Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart): written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed, originally released by The Stylistics in 1971. Not as good as the original nor the 1974 cover by Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross, but still a great cover - the material alone makes it one of the better cuts on the album.
- Symphony of Love: pseudo-reggae filler. Same groove Jones would use for Donna Summer's State Of Independence single the following year.
- Oh No, Margarita: this song - about a girl who pursues a guy who is no good for her - is more filler, but I'll be damned if the chorus hook is what I find myself singing after I've put the CD away. Great manic solo from Watts.
- The Island: Brazilian quiet storm from the pen of MPB legend Ivan Lins. Beautiful setting, but it never seems to go anywhere. Odd way to close an album.