Diana Ross - I Love You

2007-01-30 14:58
If you’re indulging this mediocre compilation more than a few times a week, you are strongly advised to invest in a vigorous bungee jump to shake yourself free. This many songs about love is not about love; it’s about obsession.

Although, from the steely seduction of her nipped and tucked gaze, you’d never suspect that Diana is working you over; not after all this time.

The dame is, admittedly, a professional; she’s got schmoozing down to a fine art. With all due respect, you can’t really fault the divine diva. Unless over-produced, perfectly balanced melodies constitute a crime. And they don’t, do they? They simply ensure top forty hits and high retail turnover.

She certainly makes glitz and glamour work for her. The indisputable celeb status that first grabs a listener's attention quickly gives way to sentimentality in the romantic riffs. Drifting from swing to soul like a well-worn metronome, her voice tugs at nostalgia whether or not there really are memories to justify its coquettish, velvet moments.

With a frighteningly professional precision, the gilted, crystalline chords ooze a highly stylized charm that instantly explains why she’ s so popular decades on from her (well hidden) prime. If youth be the elixir of fame and fortune, she’s figured out the formula: her voice remains untarnished by time.

With time, though, comes change; and her themes haven’t changed since before Botox, which is the problem with this album. Even the smooth seduction of her honeyed vocals cannot gloss over soppy Hollywood clichés to adequately justify the number of times Mz Ross loves to use the word “Love” or reminds the listener to remember. The lyrics will not stand up to critical analysis, unless it’s for the purposes of profiling a recovering codependent.

In a twist of irony, time is perhaps the only thing on this album’s side, because this easy compilation of Hollywood harmonies coincides perfectly with the most postured of February’s public celebrations.

If you must give it to someone this Valentine’s Day, give it to your Gogo. It’s nice. And make sure you waltz with her to it. That’ll no doubt give Ross’s enduring gentleness and manicured joy a five out of five.

- Jess Henson
When it comes to syrupy songs about love, nice is a four-letter word. Is it possible for anyone to ever be "loved out"?

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