(US MCA CD, 1997)
1) Someone Like You 2) I Like the Way It Feels 3) You Are My Solid Ground 4) Flame 5) Let Me Be Your Lady 6) Does He Love You 7) Shoe Was on the Other Foot 8) Addicted to You 9) When You Talk about Love 10) Love Is Just a Whisper Away 11) If by Chance 12) Let Me Be There for You 13) You Saved My Life 14) Don't Block the Blessing
What a pleasant surprise! Personally, I didn't invest great hopes in Patti LaBelle's latest set on MCA records, but this album really represents major label production at its very best. Sure, there are a couple of tunes that are veering into the MOR side of our genre (produced by Arif Mardin and David Foster), but especially the two ballads by Gerald Levert and Edwin Nicholas are sheer class. Sami McKinney also contributes his typically first rate production on two tracks featuring Najee on saxophone, while Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Big Jim Wright deliver wonderful midtempo and uptempo cuts in the Sounds of Blackness mould.
Of the 14-tracker, at least half of the cuts should earn a special mention, and the tracks that have already caused quite a stir among soul devotees include Shoe Was on the Other Foot, a Gerald Levert/Edwin Nicholas tune in a classic Philadelphia soul format, the other Levert/Nicholas contribution I Like the Way It Feels, as well as the current single pick, an anthemic Sounds of Blackness influenced funker When You Talk about Love.