Natalie Cole


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For many artists, a title like Unpredictable is nothing but empty rhetoric -- anyone who relies on tired, worn-out formulas (something many artists do) is hardly unpredictable. But Natalie Cole was, in fact, fairly unpredictable in the 1970s. She started out as pretty much a straight-up soul singer but was picking up her share of quiet storm and adult contemporary fans by the end of the decade. Released in 1977, Unpredictable was the third album that the Chuck Jackson/Marvin Yancy team produced for her. Most of the songs were written by Jackson/Yancy, including the major hits "I'm Catching Hell" (a confessional ballad) and "I've Got Love on My Mind." However, Cole does some writing herself, contributing "Your Eyes" and the quiet storm item "Peaceful Living" -- and the exuberant feel-good anthem "Party Lights" was written by keyboardist Tennyson Stephens. Without question, Jackson and Yancy get high marks for being consistent. They saw to it that 1975's Inseparable and 1976's Natalie were excellent, and they also make sure that Unpredictable is a highly rewarding addition to Cole's catalog.

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