Rose Royce

Golden Touch

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Without question, Rose Royce suffered a major loss when lead vocalist Gwen "Rose" Dickey left the band in 1979. But as memorable as her contributions were -- as much as fans adored her -- 1980's Golden Touch proved that she wasn't indispensable. Rose Royce still had a gem of a lead singer in falsetto Kenny Copeland and Dickey's female replacement Richee Benson proved that she was no slouch either. Benson doesn't sound anything like her predecessor, as Dickey's vocals had a girlish sweetness and that isn't the case with the husky-voiced Benson. But the new replacement is charismatic in her own way, and she proves herself to be a deserving addition to the band on the dreamy title song as well as the lovely ballad "And You Wish For Yesterday." Copeland, meanwhile, has some memorable spots on the medium-tempo "Love Is in the Air," the Stylistics-like "Would You Please Be Mine," and the funky "I Wanna Make It With You" (not to be confused with the Bread hit). And all of the singers contribute to "Funkin' Around," a very fun slice of Parliament-influenced p-funk. Golden Touch isn't among Rose Royce's essential albums, but it's a solid, respectable effort that illustrates the band's ability to carry on without Dickey.

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