Madleen Kane

12 Inches & More

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This disc offers the full retrospective treatment to one of disco's lesser-known divas. 12 Inches & More collects all of Madleen Kane's club favorites from the 1970s and 1980s, all included in their full-length mixes to please the disco fans that this disc is obviously aimed at. The best material here is strongly reminiscent of Donna Summer's mid-'70s work: Songs like "Rough Diamond" and "Cheri" are Euro-disco delights built on thickly layered arrangements that sprinkle lush, romantic layers of piano and strings over an insistent bed of percussion. Kane's ethereal vocals float over the top, usually fleshed out by a prominent background chorus that enhances the melodramatic flavor of songs like "Forbidden Love." Unfortunately, not all of the material here is as strong as those highlights: For instance, "Playing for Time" is a repetitive, melodically weak song that pushes Kane's wispy voice to its breaking point. The collection's overall quality is further diluted by a trio of weak mid-'80s tunes whose anemic synthesizer-only arrangements and simplistic melodies sound especially pitiful when surrounded by the otherwise lushly textured Euro-disco presented here. Despite this inconsistent material, 12 Inches & More conveniently collects all of Kane's best material in one package and offers enough quality material to make it worthwhile for disco fanatics.

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