Jody Watley - Paradise (2016)
Artist: Jody Watley
Year Of Release: 2016
Label: Avitone Recordings
Total Time: 30:26
Total Size: 252 MB
3. The Dawn
4. Tonight's The Night
6. Sanctuary (Soulpersona Remix)
Beginning in 1987, Watley's dominance on the dance and R&B charts stayed strong for nearly a decade through her tenure with MCA Records with her signature tracks "Friends," "Everything," "Real Love," "Looking For a New Love," among other Billboard Top 10 Pop, Dance, and R&B charting singles. When Watley switched to the independent ranks through her Avitone moniker, record sales were more lackluster. Yet, Watley expanded the club music territory outside her Soul Train comfort zone. Along with a trusted family of co-writers and co-producers, Watley registered several more dance chart entries, including: remixes of "Looking For a New Love"; the smooth jazz-fueled "Off The Hook," with "Friends" duet partner, Rakim; and, a chilled-out version of Madonna's "Borderline."
In an interesting collection of past remixes and new material, the six-track Avitone EP, Paradise, explores Watley's various textures of dance. "The Dawn" emphatically feeds off the "yeah, yeah, yeah" vocal hooks from "Looking For a New Love." Unfortunately, the fillers drag the track down after the second round of choruses. The disco anthem, "Nightlife," features original Shalamar lead voice Gerald Brown and is another reminder of those Soul Train grooves in which Watley clearly excels. "Dancer," produced by one of Watley's newer contributors, Luminodisco, perfectly dissects freedom on the dance floor: "I can hang with the best/With my finesse/ Watch me work/Clock this confidence."
Besides her trademark dance funk excursions on Paradise, Watley's also relevant to current club trends. "Tonight's The Night," remixed by Mark deClive Lowe, cuts to the quick with spot-on break beats and gorgeous keyboard splashes. The title track, another MdCL production, is a soft bass-synth driven Caribbean treat. But, the standout on Paradisegoes to "Sanctuary (Soulpersona Raregrooves Remix)," sweetly integrating funk into fresh electronic and retro orchestrations.
Whether Paradise will be a sales success for Watley is neither here nor there. But, for those who fully appreciated Watley's consistent contributions to dance music, Paradise is a satisfactory balance of everything Watley has encompassed since she first hit the Soul Train line back in the day. Recommended. [/quote]
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