Nancy Wilson

Kaleidoscope

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Kaleidoscope suffers from an identity crisis of sorts -- the album splits arranging duties between James Mack (who contributes lush, symphonic backings) and Phil Wright (who favors a stripped-down, soulful approach), and while their contrasting sensibilities guarantee the album never coheres as a complete listening experience, it boasts several flashes of brilliance that supersede its flaws. The material doesn't lean quite as heavily on contemporary pop hits as some of Nancy Wilson's other early-'70s efforts, although her poignant reading of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" is the album's zenith. Almost as impressive is the lovely "If I Were Your Woman," and her signature sophistication is enough to enliven even more maudlin fare like "The Greatest Performance of My Life" and "I'll Get Along Somehow."

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