Dionne Warwick

How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye

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In the early '80 Warwick experienced a career renaissance thanks to "Déjà Vu" and her singing to Arista, a label seemed to be more sympathetic to her needs. This 1983 album pairs her with producer Luther Vandross. Vandross, who also produced Aretha Franklin's Jump To It in 1982, is a much better teaming of singer and producer. Although "Got a Date" and "I Do It 'Cause I Like It" are both disposable pop-based filler, this album has phenomenal versions of some of Vandross' unsung gems. The poignant title track is a duet with Vandross and Warwick, and finds their voices blending extremely well. The gentle "So Amazing" and the gossamer and touching "What Can a Miracle Do" have Warwick's all-encompassing and raspy vocals cohering in Vandross' trademark lush surroundings. She also tackles Michael McDonald's grade A weeper "I Can Let Go Now" and brings a deeper sense of longing and hurt than the great original. In the same vein, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" shows up as a reflective ballad featuring the Shirelles. This album features arguably Vandross' best players, including Nat Adderley, Jr. on keyboards, drummer Yogi Horton, bassist Marcus Miller, and great emotive synth work by Skip Anderson. While a few tracks fall short of the mark, the best here makes How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye an absolute necessity for fans of Warwick and Vandross.

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