When Al Hudson & the Partners (later One Way) recorded their Happy Feet LP in 1979, the singer who stood out the most was Alicia Myers. Arguably, she was the best lead vocalist Hudson ever had, which is ironic because One Way enjoyed some of its biggest hits after her departure. In 1979, it seemed inevitable that the passionate, big-voiced Myers would pursue a solo career -- and sure enough, MCA released her first solo album, Alicia, in 1981. With the help of Kevin McCord (who produced this LP with Al Perkins and wrote most of the material), Myers was able to make her first post-Hudson effort a classic. McCord gave the Detroit singer some infectious funk-dance numbers to work with, including "Reggae Funky Dance" (which isn't reggae at all), "Don't Stop What You're Doin'," and the sweaty "Spirit of the Boogie" (not to be confused with Kool & the Gang's 1975 hit). But most of the songs that McCord provides are ballads and slow jams, which is just as well because Myers really soars on romantic gems like "If You Play Your Cards Right," "Life, Joy and Happiness," and the hit "I Want to Thank You." The latter wasn't Myers' biggest solo hit -- that honor goes to 1984's "You Get the Best From Me (Say, Say, Say)," which reached the Top Ten on Billboard's R&B singles chart. But "I Want to Thank You" did enjoy extensive airplay on quiet storm formats. Between Myers' expressive, gospel-influenced belting and McCord's first-rate songwriting, Alicia is a consistently impressive solo debut.
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