STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 1001-1333 LABEL: Harmony 6117282 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
This should have been a brilliant album. All those who've followed pop history since the '60s will know that Darlene's voice was one of the most distinctive elements in Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound megahits. But after leaving music and going into acting (she turns up in the Lethal Weapon movies), successfully suing Spector for unpaid royalties, and finding faith in Jesus, her musical return falls distinctly flat. 'Unconditional Love' is stylised and tired-sounding with dull songs and plodding arrangements and where even Darlene's deliciously expressive voce fades into anonymity. The major blame for this album's dullness must rest at the door of producer Edwin Hawkins (another recording act who in truth has cut nothing in the same league as his '60's "Oh Happy Day" mega hit) and one can only hope that having returned into the studio after an absurd 15 years away, Darlene doesn't step back into retirement. With the right songs and production Darlene could surely thrill a new generation.
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