Amii Stewart

Ariola

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An eclectic set worthy of far more attention than its very limited release received, this self-titled set shows Stewart to be a stunningly subtle and thoroughly soulful vocalist capable of much more than a generic disco singer. While her first few albums set the stage for her as a dancefloor diva to be reckoned with, their busy -- and somewhat gimmicky -- production values often cluttered her style. Here, producer and arranger Simon Boswell pinpoints a nice tone of understatement that fits the chanteuse like a glove. Highlights lie in the sly, mid-tempo piece "Don't Ask Me Why"; the catchy, glowing "Nobody but Me"; and the soothing closing ballad "Once Again," to name a few. The obligatory Donna Summer-esque dance number is "Working Late Tonight," and it's memorable for a plentiful supply of dramatic orchestration and off-kilter lines like, "While you give her three wishes/I'm busy washin' pots and pans." But it's primarily the ballads and low-key numbers here that do the trick. Released by RCA's Italian arm only in Europe, Amii Stewart is a solid collector's item worth seeking for any fan of the singer's lovely voice.

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