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Diana Ross: Ross [1978]

Album Notes

As a solo artist Diana Ross' `70s recording career was often marred by lack of inspiring material and her film career. Even with her busy schedule she could always release good to great singles like 1976's "Love Hangover" and "I'm Getting Ready for Love." As an album artist, at this point, only Lady Sings the Blues, Diana and Marvin and 1977's Baby It's Me had displayed all of her gifts. While Ross doesn't attain that high standard, it at least offers some thoughtful performances. This 1978 set mixes six new tracks with earlier unreleased tracks. Like the Temptations 1975's House Party, this "throws together" tracks from different years. Although it could be reflected as a desperate tactic, Ross shows that often it can work. The ballads here tend to show her in the best light. The hypnotic and sensual "Never Say I Don't Love You" boasts one of her most subtle performances. That track along with "Where Did We Go Wrong" and "To Love Again" suggests that a great weepy album filled with strong ballads was just within reach. 1974's country styled offering, "Sorry Doesn't Always Make It Right" mixes in extremely well. The dance tracks aren't as good "Lovin', Livin' and Givin' and a discofied "What You Gave Me" both from 1978, has Ross going through the motions and feigning enthusiasm. (Oddly enough those two tracks appeared on her 1995 anthology.) While Ross isn't a full-fledged effort, it often captures enough of Ross' essence to make it recommended. ~ Jason Elias


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