(4 / 5)
Her last album of originals was way back in 1999. So the wait for this one has been 22 years. Was it worth it? Well…..
We had a wee clue as to what to expect, when the album’s title track dropped as a single earlier in the summer. Diana’s first single release for 15 years (Hear it, below, via the video). A very slick and polished/produced affair.
At the age of 77, Diana Ross has more than earned “Legend” status, from her days at Motown with The Supremes and then as a solo star, dropping some mega-successful collaborative projects along the way with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Nile Rodgers/Chic and The Bee Gees.
She remains a regular live performer and was due to perform at Glastonbury Festival in 2020 and then postponed to 2021, in the Sunday tea-time ‘Legends’ spot. But of course, the event never took place due to the pandemic.
The new album “Thank You” is her 25th solo album, and on which she has co-penned all 13 tracks. Her first set of originals since the 1990 album, “Every Day Is A New Day”.
“Singing is my beautiful, delicious obsession”: Diana Ross
The new project was recorded in Diana’s home studio, and sees the delightful Diva join forces with a slew of award-winning song writers and producers such as Taylor Swift’s producer Jack Antonoff, TroyMiller, TrianglePark, PrinceCharlez, Neff-U, FreddieWexler, FredWhite, Nathanial Ledgewick and Tayla Parx, co-writer of Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next.
Brit’ collaborators also get a look in; Ed Sheeran’s co-writer Amy Wadge and producers Mark Stent and Jimmy Napes.
A mixed bag of song styles. Some are a good fit, others less so. The set tries hard to be contemporary and “hip”, but leaving a foot in the vintage/retro camp, too. For me, often a bit too much “production” on her vocals.
But overall, it’s a classy record and her fans will enjoy it. Although, there are no smash hits here and nothing will stay indelibly etched in the mind, as regards a hook, among the baker’s dozen on offer.
The sentiment throughout this LP is of being grateful and appreciative of her career and the fans who gave it to her. A welcome message of “love and togetherness” in these tough times globally.
We are certainly in the presence of music royalty for the duration of “Thank You”, and it’s fun to close your eyes and imagine the scene; Diana Ross in the mud at Glastonbury – if it ever happens again with this Supreme Diva re-booked. Hope so…To borrow the title of one of Diana’s biggest hits: “I’m still waiting….”
By Sally Fox
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’