Carol Douglas

Full Bloom

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Considering Douglas and producer Ed O'Loughlin were early path-setters for disco, it's surprising to find her covering ABBA's "Dancing Queen" here, rather than offering more original dance material. Not straying far at all from the Swedish supergroup's version, Douglas' reading is passable, if not particularly inspiring. Furthermore, her cover of "Light My Fire" falls somewhere in the land of banality. But fortunately, the remainder of material far outweighs the aforementioned in merit. Most consistent are the ballad selections, ranging from the plush groove of "We Do It," to the soft melody and subtly poetic lyrics of "I Got You on My Mind" to "We're Gonna Make It," with traces of Philadelphia soul stylings. Of the up-tempo fare, the strongest is "Who, What, Where, When, Why," later recorded by Dionne Warwick on her 1979 Dionne album. So, subtract the unnecessary covers, and you have a 75 percent satisfactory album, worth a place in the collections of Douglas fans and aficionados of '70s soul balladry.

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