Alicia Bridges

The Collection

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Though this budget disc is merely a reordered reissue of Bridges' stellar 1978 debut, it's the only full-length CD of her work available, making it a wise investment for any fans of '70s rock and/or disco. Unquestionably a "Diamond in the Rough," the versatile singer/songwriter moves from the jazzy pop-soul of "Break Away" to the gutsy rock & roll of "Body Heat" (a minor pop hit in early 1979) to the mellow pop-disco fusion she's eternally known for, "I Love the Nightlife (Disco Round)." Lyrically, her scope is equally impressive, with the specialty being hardships brought upon by society's standards. "Self Applause" pertains to vanity as a mask over emotion; "Diamond in the Rough" explores the sacrifice of social exile for a true relationship; and "High Altitude" travels through an individual plane of freedom, away from disconcerting pressures. In addition to Bridges' combination of genre defiance and lyrical frankness, her unique vocal personality -- seemingly influenced by everyone from Joe Cocker to Diana Ross -- is superbly represented throughout. The only drawback to this CD is the skimpy packaging, which includes none of the original liner notes or musician and production credits.

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