Anyone forced to single out one woman as today's preeminent female pop singer could make a substantial case for Diana Ross. This, however, is not the record to make it with.
It's not all as bad as the cover, on which Ross poses in leather jacket, motorcycle boots and jeans with designer rips, looking like a 45-year-old juvenile delinquent. "Workin' Overtime" should keep the dancers among Ross's fans happy, she sounds as silky-voiced as ever, and Nile Rodgers's tune "This House" gives her a song with a bit of perspective ("Our toys are in the attic, baby/ Pictures on the wall/ See our memories/ From days past in the mirror/ Down the hall").
The bass lines are often overwhelming, though—suggesting that the credits on a couple of tracks ought to read like those of a 78 from the '30s: "Bass player with vocal accompaniment." There are no noteworthy soloists or duet singers who might raise the level of her performance. And most of the songs are painfully routine, particularly for someone who can sing so many styles so well.
While this album won't drive away many of the faithful, it won't make many converts either. (Motown)