Picks and Pans Review: Precious Moments
Little brother what's his name notwithstanding, Jermaine often seems to be the most musically talented of the Jackson brothers. It's hardly disputable that his voice is warmer, more textured and more reflective of real emotion than Michael's. There are some hints of the richness of Smokey Robinson on this album of romantic, mid-tempo tunes. Jermaine is also adventurous enough to try a song by country composers Rodney Crowell and David Malloy, Give a Little Love. Jackson's duet with Whitney Houston on a lovely Elliot Willensky ballad, If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful, should have been the LP's high point, and it's not too shabby as it stands. But it's disappointing that they just take turns singing and don't really harmonize until the last couple of lines. Then too it ought to be illegal to bill something as a duet when two singers record their parts at different times, as is the case here. While good singers can fake the intimacy, it's hard not to believe something is lost. It's always entertaining to read the liner notes on Jermaine's albums to see whom he is thanking. In this case, he lists roughly 183 separate individuals, families or establishments, including Stevie Wonder, Murray Mintz, Barry White, King of Nadi of the Western Side of Fiji, Ben Ing, Bambi Corso, Chief Eldrin Bell and the Jackson sisters (he spells Janet's name wrong). Whoever the less celebrated ones are and whatever they've done, they've contributed to a first-class project. (Arista)
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