Miracles of the Heart

James "D-Train" Williams

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Miracles of the Heart Review

by Alex Henderson

After recording three albums for the independent, New York City-based Prelude Records, James "D-Train" Williams switched to Columbia with 1986's Miracles of the Heart. This was the Brooklyn native's first album for a major label, and it was the first time an album billed him as a solo artist instead of as half of the duo D-Train. But it isn't as though Williams and Hubert Eaves III, the duo's other half, parted company after Prelude. In fact, Eaves is a crucial part of this release; in addition to producing Miracles of the Heart with Williams and handling most of the keyboards and synthesizers, Eaves co-wrote seven of the album's eight selections. The only thing on Miracles of the Heart that Williams wrote by himself is the quiet storm ballad "Ice Melts into Rain," which should have been released as a single but wasn't. Unfortunately, Miracles of the Heart didn't perform as well as it deserved to commercially. The infectious single "Misunderstanding" was a number ten R&B hit in Billboard, while the romantic slow jam "Oh, How I Love You, Girl" made it to number 22 on Billboard's R&B singles chart. But the album itself only got as far as number 51 on Billboard's R&B albums chart. And the problem wasn't a lack of worthwhile material; although not quite essential, Miracles of the Heart is a solid, consistent effort. No, the problem with Miracles of the Heart, from a commercial standpoint, was that Columbia didn't promote the disc nearly as aggressively as it should have. At Prelude, Williams was a big fish in a small pond; at Columbia, he got lost in the crowd and wasn't a high promotional priority. Regardless, Miracles of the Heart has its admirers, including Funky Town Grooves. In 2011, the Brooklyn-based label reissued Miracles of the Heart as a 77-minute CD; liner notes were added along with six bonus tracks (including extended versions of "Misunderstanding" and "Oh, How I Love You, Girl"). Miracles of the Heart isn't recommended to casual listeners, who would be better off starting out with a best-of that focuses on Williams' Prelude hits. But die-hard fans will be glad to know that Funky Town Grooves gives this enjoyable album the respect it deserves.

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