Picks and Pans Review: Power of Love
For a long time there hasn't been much room for improvement in the singing of Vandross, the virtuoso of soul. So over the last few albums, he has concentrated on pumping up the accompaniment. Too bad.
The album's production, a collaboration between Luther and Marcus Miller, is at times so lavish it pushes the singer out of the spotlight.
The arrangements on, say, "She Doesn't Mind" and "Emotional Love" overshadow Vandross's contributions. These songs create a big splash, but it hardly matters that it's Luther singing them. Curious strategy, that.
Another sign of indulgence is the length of the tracks. Only one song clocks at under four minutes. At least the expansiveness allows the record's all-star chorus, including Cissy Houston and Darlene Love, to air it out.
The star's subtle yet robust delivery is still a marvel. But the voice, material and studio technique balance only on "I'm Gonna Start Today" and "Sometimes It's Only Love." Those moments of equilibrium can't keep this record from keeling over. (Epic)"