René & Angela

Street Called Desire

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    9
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René & Angela's obvious enthusiasm and for-real emotions make listening to Street Called Desire a pleasure. The uptempo numbers aren't jokes -- the throbbing beat on "I'll Be Good" is mind locking, but the two ballads, "You Don't Have to Cry" and "Your Smile," are outstanding. What makes them work is their unpredictability. No particular or predetermined pattern is set. No attempt is made to divide the lines and choruses equally; each singer unselfishly contributes what's necessary. "Smile" is mostly Angela until René repeatedly chants "No other love can light my life, no one can make things right, 'til my baby smiles." René has more juice on "You Don't Have to Cry," matching alternating verses with Angela, who gives an incredible performance on the heart-stopping ballad. René's brother Bobby Watson (formerly of Rufus) co-produced the sides with Bruce Swedien. "Save Your Love for Number #1" and "Your Smile" both reached number one R&B; "You Don't Have to Cry" went to number two, and "I'll Be Good" climbed to number four. Billboard's pop chart proved a tougher nut for R&A to scale, as a number 47 ranking for "I'll Be Good" was their highest number. Due to personal problems and conflicts, the duo called it quits and released no more LPs. This one is essential for any soul music aficionado.

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