Natalie Cole


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A lackluster production job hurt this project and it failed to live up to what Natalie Cole's fans had come to expect from her -- this, despite an accompanying cast of musicians, singers, engineers, and producers that reads like a who's who of studio rats. A trio of pulsating beaters, "Billy the Kid Next Door," "Opposites Attract," and "Your Car (My Garage)" are nearly there, but are missing something you can't quite put your finger on. The self-assured "Nobody's Soldier" possesses similar qualities to her Capital hits, but doesn't sustain them to the finish line. The best ballad, "A Little Bit of Heaven," doesn't captivate like "I'm Catching Hell." Singers who had great chart runs find that their new recordings are often compared to past successes; such is the case here. From an unknown this would be a good debut, but from Cole it's disappointing. Her greatness is not evident on any of the CD's nine tracks. Nothing makes you say, "Wow!"

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