Picks and Pans Review: Busy Body

UPDATED 02/13/1984 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/13/1984 at 01:00 AM EST

Luther Vandross

Vandross, 32, has emerged as one of the pillars of contemporary black music. This is only his third solo album, though he has been a major figure for the better part of a decade. He did the vocal arrangements on David Bowie's 1975 hit Young Americans and sang with the popular R&B ensemble Change on The Glow of Love and other sensuous hits. He has also produced hit albums for Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick. This collection of seven tunes hardly breaks stylistic ground, but it showcases Vandross' ability to take a musical phrase, twist it, and turn it into a delightful new creature. A note on the lyric sheet accompanying his duet with Warwick, How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye, is a good description of his style: "Make this chorus so intense that you can't stand it anymore and you have to say goodbye." He also demonstrates his pop savvy with a marvelous medley that combines Superstar (written in 1970 by Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett) and Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do) (written by Stevie Wonder, Morris Broadnax and Clarence Paul in 1967). The medley stretches for more than nine minutes without running out of steam. (Columbia)

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