Picks and Pans Review: Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway
updated 05/05/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/05/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Three times Flack had recorded with singer Donny Hathaway, and each release reaffirmed their perfect melding of voices and talents. The collaboration also netted them one gold LP, two gold singles and a Grammy for Where Is the Love? Then just before his death at 33 in January 1979—an apparent suicide in a plunge from a hotel room—they recorded together again. Of the two duets included here, You Are My Heaven (written by Stevie Wonder and Eric Mercury) is a superb way to remember Hathaway. The LP itself is perfectionist Flack's first in 18 months, and if it took six different studios to finish it, well, the effort was worthwhile. Don't Make Me Wait Too Long (also composed by Wonder, who raps away in the bridge between choruses) is a funky disco cut. God Don't Like Ugly is gospel-tinged, while Only Heaven Can Wait (for Love) and Stay with Me are classic Flack—melodically driven and beautifully sung. Roberta has earned 11 gold records and four Grammys, and with this LP will undoubtedly have to make more room in the trophy case.