Picks and Pans Review: Destiny
This LP offers a handy solution for those Saturday-night-party folks who don't have time to make a dance tape. Just throw Destiny on the turntable, and even the most relentlessly stubborn wallflowers will set about shaking their booties for a half hour or so. Unfortunately, Chaka's longtime producer, Arif Mardin, has buried her distinctive, earthy vocals beneath an endlessly overbearing series of beat-box-supported bass riffs. The title cut, in which Chaka sings, "I'm the ruler of my destiny/ I can determine what becomes of me," comes off as just another hollow drum. Phil Collins hammers out the beat, and Randy and Michael Brecker spice up the horn section on Watching the World, but to no effect. Their individual contributions are less decipherable than Chaka's. Any competent studio musician could have fulfilled the same function. The last cut, Coltrane Dreams, which features jazz-infused atonal vocals by Chaka, finally relieves this LP's dancefare doldrums. Too bad that the minute-and-a-half reprieve is so short and comes so late. (Warner Bros.)
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