Vanessa Williams

Everlasting Love

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On Everlasting Love, Vanessa Williams covers her favorite soul songs of the '70s, often with help from the London Session Orchestra. This is a classy set of material that straddles the line between faithful renditions and creative reinterpretations. The strummy folk-soul of the Isley Brothers' "Harvest for the World" is turned into jazz-funk for the dancefloor; the natural exuberance within "Never Can Say Goodbye" is toned down a few degrees, thanks in part to George Benson's guitar and James "D-Train" Williams' (!) backing vocals. Nothing really grabs you by the throat or makes your body hairs stand on end, but that's all right. Williams' music career has almost always had more to do with caressing the ears than anything else. This disc is nothing if not a fan pleaser.

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