Picks and Pans Review: Mistaken Identity

updated 10/14/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/14/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Donna Summer

There's some solid dance music—"Body Talk," "Fred Astaire." There are a couple of decent ballads—"Cry of a Waking Heart," "Say a Little Prayer." There is an antiwar plea, albeit none too eloquent: "Save the babies, save the babies/ If we only get it together/ If we could only get it together/ I think we could make it."

The album nonetheless is as forgettable as a routine episode of a mediocre TV sitcom. For every nice moment—real unsynthesized bass from Carl James or Summer's easy, sinuous way with a rhythm-heavy arrangement—there are many nondescript melodic sequences or banal lines: "Mr. Moonlight...Shine bright/ Show me my Mr. Right/ Lights, camera, action/ I wanna be his sole distraction."

Summer ends with a characteristically endless list of thank-yous and acknowledgments, and her gratitude is apparently catching. Her new producer Keith Diamond (Mick Jagger, Michael Bolton) starts his thanks with God and works down to Summer: "Donna! Donna! Donna! What can I say! I could tell the world about your big heart and giving spirit ... I could let them know about your constant creative energy (your brain never rests!)... I could even talk about your amazing sense of humor (we had so many precious moments)..."

Next time, please, more music with less gush. (Atlantic)

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