Roberta Flack

Blue Lights in the Basement

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Released in 1977, Blue Lights in the Basement is Roberta Flack's follow-up to 1975's Feel Like Makin' Love. Of course during the space between the two efforts, R&B and pop had certainly changed immensely. This album finds Flack responding to the changing times with a batch of smooth tracks and a polished and accomplished production. Of course by this time, she seemed to be divorced from the intelligent and recondite work that typified the early part of her career. Some of the tracks here do come close to that style; "25th of Last December" and "Love Is the Healing" throw in some nice changes to complement Flack's sweet and patient vocals. What caused this album to be such a big seller was the Flack and Donny Hathaway duet, "The Closer I Get to You." The track easily attains the grace and gorgeous sound that a lot of the like-minded songs here just miss. The dramatic "Where I'll Find You" appropriately closes the album and has a great echo effect on her voice during the chorus. Flack is indeed in great voice here, but Blue Lights in the Basement is most notable for its hit single rather than the tracks that surround it.

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