Deniece Williams

Hot on the Trail

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Probably Williams' least-known album, Hot on the Trail came shortly after her gospel debut, So Glad I Know. On this secular outing, Williams assumed greater involvement in the writing process, co-writing all but one of the songs. However, she stepped back from producing, which she took part in prominently on 1984's Let's Hear It for the Boy. The set suffers from a slight lack of musical direction, but boasts several noteworthy cuts. The metaphorical "Video" is a Latin-esque groover with a smooth sax solo by Tom Scott, and the breezy, midtempo "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" has a feel-good vibe. The problem with some of the selections is musical arrangements that get settled too soon. Fortunately, Williams' pensive lyrics, flowing melodies, and top-notch vocal performances rise over the dry areas, making this an enjoyable listen, if not the most memorable.

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