Jeffrey Osborne

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Emotional Review

by Jason Elias

Released after 1984's Don't Stop, Emotional finds Osborne working with a myriad of producers with mixed results. Although this effort is overly slick with poor song choices and barely there vocals, Osborne suffered no commercial repercussions and had another a high selling album. The biggest hit here -- "You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)" -- has the perky '80s synth overload matched with threadbare lyrics. Although it's worth a good belly laugh to hear Osborne repeatedly sing, "Can you woo, woo, woo," sonically it's one of the more irritating hits from the '80s. Emotional is not exactly a work of cohesion, and it's reminiscent of Whitney Houston with its use of multiple producers and pop material. Frequent Houston collaborator Michael Masser co wrote "In Your Eyes" with Dan Hill, but despite Osborne's strong vocal, the song comes off flat. Richard Perry, who produced "You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)" also was behind the boards for the maddening pap of "Room with a View" and the title track. George Duke, who was the producer of the three Osborne efforts previous to this, produced and co-wrote the pretty "Second Chance." The song is proof that Duke's style suited Osborne's voice the best. Osborne himself produced three tracks including the synth dog-bark filled "Love's Not Ready" and the overly dramatic "Come Midnight." For fans of Osborne's early-'80s albums like Stay With Me Tonight and Don't Stop, Emotional is quite a disappointment.

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