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  1. #1

    diana review from Record World

    [[A weekly report on current and upcoming discotheque breakouts)

    NEW ALBUMS: Diana Ross’ new album, Diana [[Motown), pairs her with the most influential team in R&B music today, Chic’s Bernard , Edwards and Nile Rodgers: they've brought along their entire entourage [[notably, drummer Tony Thompson and singers Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin) and woven Ross thoroughly into their sound. She's not by any means buried by it, though: to the contrary, the severely spare rhythm playing boldly outlines Ross’ voice and ultimately, challenges her rhythmically as fully as last summer's enormously popular “The Boss’ album had emotionally. Where tact and nuance were called for in such complex message songs as “No One Gets the Prize,” Rodgers and Edwards’ cool, stylized funk elicits highly syncopated phrasing and, occasionally, all-stops-out shouting from Ross. For sure,
    it's a different approach, typified by “I’m Coming Out” [[5:23), the early radio pick as the first copies trickled aut over Memorial Day weekend. Amid sparse “Bo Diddley’-style guitar riffing and talky horn lines, Ross is obviously exerting herself vecally to create color and movement—and, incidentally, there is a spark ‘of spontaneity here that’s a bit out of the ordinary far both Ross and Chic, which describes personal discovery and liberation as effectively as the lyric. Especially good: one jagged guitar break, punctuated by drummer Thompson’s firecracker snare. “Upside Down” [[4:05) is another club possibility ; presenting Ross in a low register, sing/chanting in front of the chorus; again, razor-sharp phrasing and surprising force mark her vocal. Two other cuts might also emerge: a flowing, almost delicate “Tenderness,” and “Have Fun [[Again),” which may be the most intriguing cut of all on the album—Chic sound radicalized into an insistent but eccentric, freedom style [[note the new-wave sounding echo on the background singing). Although other recent Rodgers/Edwards productions have ignited rather less response than might have been expected in the clubs, it’s impossible to anticipate that “Diana” won’t be heard often on the strength of its star’s name and newfound power.

  2. #2
    The only trade review i can remember of the album was from Black Echoes magazine. It was a somewhat lukewarm review that mentioned the only potential hits they heard on the album were “Have Fun [[Again)” and “Give Up”. I’m delighted they got it so wrong, although i think both songs were indeed potential hits.


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Ralph Terrana

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