Natalie Cole

We're the Best of Friends

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Peabo Bryson was never a hardcore soul purist; he's someone to listen to if you like your R&B laced with lots of pop and adult contemporary. So when Capitol united Natalie Cole with Bryson for this duet album in 1979, you can be certain that the label had its eye on both the R&B charts and the pop charts. And Capitol wasn't disappointed by the LP's performance; We're the Best of Friends was black enough for R&B and quiet storm stations, but pop enough for adult contemporary audiences. On the whole, this slick album isn't mind-blowing, but most of the tracks are pleasant -- and that is true of "I Want to Be Where You Are" and the hit single "Gimme Some Time," as well as the title song. Arguably, the best thing on the record is Cole and Bryson's remake of Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do for Love," an obvious choice for quiet storm formats in 1979. Also noteworthy is a medley of Harold Arlen's "Let's Fall in Love" and Sam Cooke's "You Send Me," which was arranged by the late Nelson Riddle. Although the two songs are from different eras (the '30s and the late '50s), they prove compatible. We're the Best of Friends isn't one of Cole's more essential efforts, but it's a decent outing that her hardcore fans appreciated.

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