Picks and Pans Review: Set the Night to Music

updated 11/18/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/18/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

Roberta Flack

In today's music, everything old is being made new again. Take this impressive return to form by '70s siren Flack. It kicks off with the synthesizer-jumpy dance-number "The Waiting Game," which includes a rap by someone who seems overqualified for the task: Quincy Jones.

Other highlights include the title track, a fetching Diane Warren ballad that finds Roberta dueting with British singer Maxi Priest, and a luminescent cover of the Stylistics' hit "You Make Me Feel Brand New." Flack also gives Natalie Cole a run for her royalties on a bounding update of "Unforgettable." Flack is most impassioned on a slow, bluesy, show-stopping treatment of Irving Berlin's "Always." The record bogs down at times in sappy sentiment and overly lush arrangements. But Flack wields her voice throughout like a sharp, shiny blade.

These are romantic tunes, mature yet lively and fresh, thanks to the subtle sparkle of Arif Mardin's production. The singer is still killing you, just not as softly, with her songs. (Atlantic)"

From Our Partners