25 items by Vince Aletti

  • Rhythm Nation 1814

    Rhythm Nation 1814 | ALBUM REVIEW

    Janet Jackson's last album opened with a declaration of independence: "This is a story about control," she announced. "My control." Three years later, her follow-up casts a wider net, moving from personal freedom to more universal concerns...

    October 19, 1989 12:00 AM ET
  • Whitney

    Whitney | ALBUM REVIEW

    On one hearing, it's easy to dismiss Whitney Houston's new album as overcalculated, hollowed-out pop product, so suffocated by professionalism that only the faintest pulse of soul remains. But after several listens, it's nearly impossible to dislodge...

    August 13, 1987 12:00 AM ET
  • Give Me The Reason

    Give Me The Reason | ALBUM REVIEW

    For black pop music, this is an exhilarating, unsettling time. Never before have so many black performers been so successful in the world of mainstream pop. Not only have such sure bets as Lionel Richie and Whitney...

    March 12, 1987 12:00 AM ET
  • Who's Zoomin' Who?

    Who's Zoomin' Who? | ALBUM REVIEW

    The hype on the new Aretha Franklin album would have us believe that this is her best work since the Sixties, when a string of now-classic albums with Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin established her as the...

    August 29, 1985 12:00 AM ET
  • Songs In The Key Of Life

    Songs In The Key Of Life | ALBUM REVIEW

    Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, like some big Hollywood studio blockbuster, comes to us already weighted down with words, stabbed with exclamation points and wrapped — or is it shrouded? — in great expectations....

    December 16, 1976 12:00 AM ET
  • I Want You

    I Want You | ALBUM REVIEW

    With Barry White on the wane, Marvin Gaye seems determined to take over as soul's master philosopher in the bedroom, a position that requires little but an affectation of constant, rather jaded horniness. The pose has already...

    June 3, 1976 12:00 AM ET
  • Can't Get Enough

    Can't Get Enough | ALBUM REVIEW

    We got it together, didn't we? Barry White asks in that husky bedroom voice of his at the beginning of this newest album. "We've definitely got our thing together, don't we baby? Isn't it nice? I mean,...

    October 24, 1974 12:00 AM ET
  • Stone Gon'

    Stone Gon' | ALBUM REVIEW

    Even if Barry White is imitation Isaac Hayes (and who would have thought anyone could match Ike pretension for pretension?) in this case, I prefer Brand X. White's productions are too excessive to be called "songs." They...

    February 14, 1974 12:00 AM ET
  • Smokey

    Smokey | ALBUM REVIEW

    I could hardly do anything less than swoon over Smokey Robinson's first solo album. "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" may sound trite and sticky here, "Holly" is a melodramatic "Lucy in the Sky," and "Just My...

    November 8, 1973 12:00 AM ET
  • Head To The Sky

    Head To The Sky | ALBUM REVIEW

    A dream last week: I was walking through a crowded marketplace in a city that seemed to be Paris although I've never been there. I was singing to myself and everyone I passed was singing the same...

    August 17, 1973 12:00 AM ET
  • Trouble Man/M.P.G.

    Trouble Man/M.P.G. | ALBUM REVIEW

    Even when a movie soundtrack isn't so awful you'd just as soon throw it down the stairs, it very rarely achieves anything beyond a sort of banal, predictable mood music: a little suspense, a little drama, an...

    March 1, 1973 12:00 AM ET
  • Talking Book

    Talking Book | ALBUM REVIEW

    Stevie Wonder's second album this year is in many ways a reprise with variations of the first, Music of My Mind. Both are ambitious, richly-textured, almost entirely the work of Wonder himself, who produced (with assistance, primarily...

    January 4, 1973 12:00 AM ET
  • Got to Be There

    Got to Be There | ALBUM REVIEW

    I had a dream about the Jackson 5. I was addressing the audience at a luncheon of somesort but all I said when I stood up was that I was hungry. The Jackson 5 were at one...

    December 7, 1972 12:00 AM ET
  • I'm Still in Love with You

    I'm Still in Love with You | ALBUM REVIEW

    So is there any question that when the music trades rack up their year-end charts for 1972 (and you discover that some group you never even heard of mysteriously became Top New R&B Vocal Group), the number...

    November 23, 1972 12:00 AM ET
  • Black Magic

    Black Magic | ALBUM REVIEW

    Don't ask me what's happened to Martha & the Vandellas. I can't figure it out either. Here's their latest album — a more respectable package than their last, Natural Resources, but another collection of odds and ends...

    May 11, 1972 12:00 AM ET
  • Music of My Mind

    Music of My Mind | ALBUM REVIEW

    It's only when I stop dancing and singing all around the room and sit down to think critically about it, that it occurs to me Stevie Wonder's new album may not be the great album of the...

    April 27, 1972 12:00 AM ET
  • Little Richard: Kings of Rock'n'Roll Series

    Little Richard: Kings of Rock'n'Roll Series | ALBUM REVIEW

    Little Richard is perfect for the late night TV freak circuit: he's funny, loud, outrageous, superficial even on important issues and willing to talk when he has absolutely nothing to say. Sometimes he'll even sing, but that's...

    November 25, 1971 12:00 AM ET
  • Hot Pants

    Hot Pants | ALBUM REVIEW

    Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh hot pants! Nobody but James Brown could make a great song about hot pants. Thing is. James Brown could make a great song about mouthwash or high-heeled shoes or sweet potato pie. Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh sweet'tato pie! Gotta...

    October 28, 1971 12:00 AM ET
  • Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain | ALBUM REVIEW

    Who needs this shit? That said, we can progress to a more balanced appreciation of the third Funkadelic album. In it, the group continues their rather limited exploration of the dark side of psychedelia — a shattered, desolate...

    September 30, 1971 12:00 AM ET
  • What's Going On

    What's Going On | ALBUM REVIEW

    Ambitious, personal albums may be a glut on the market elsewhere, but at Motown they're something new. These, from two of the Corporation's Finest, represent a subversive concept, allowed only to producers the overseerstars of Motown's corporate...

    August 5, 1971 12:00 AM ET