Significantly different from 1977’s Song Bird, When Love Comes Calling followed Deniece Williams’ success with Johnny Mathis on the number one Hot 100 single “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” and subsequent album That’s What Friends Are For. Williams signed to Maurice White’s Columbia-affiliated ARC label, but White was otherwise all but absent compared to his level of input on Williams’ first two albums. Williams co-produced and had a hand in the writing of eight songs on this, a Los Angeles album in every respect. Ray Parker, Jr. and David Foster are the primary collaborators, writing, producing, and playing throughout the album, while L.A.-based session musicians, from arrangers Gene Page and Jerry Hey to a few members of Toto, fill out the extensive lineup. The biggest success was “I’ve Got the Next Dance,” an effervescent slice of galloping disco-pop that topped Billboard’s dance chart. While Williams was reticent to dip into disco and eager to leave it behind, one wouldn’t know from the exuberance she put into the song. Otherwise, the album could be categorized as soft rock as easily as soul, led by peppy songs like “I Found Love” and the title song, which should be as well-known as anything Foster recorded with Hall & Oates. There are some stunning ballads as well, including the mostly strings “Touch Me Again” (co-written with Tennyson Stephens) and the gorgeously unfurling “Why Can’t We Fall in Love?” (another Foster collaboration).
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman