Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Flame to Fire: Donna Summer's Return

Spending majority of the 1990's and 2000's, rightfully so, coasting on previous hits Donna Summer is (finally!) returning with a new record on May 20th via the Burgundy imprint (who hosts Chaka Khan on its roster). The album is called Crayons.

This will be Summer's first album of new material since 1991's Mistaken Identity and her fifteenth album overall. The lead single "I'm A Fire" is already setting folks into a frenzy within the clubs. The EP is currently available through the iTunes music store. My thoughts on the new single? Summer has had a decent run of "new recordings" over the years: "Melody of Love" (1994), "I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiro) (1999), and "I've Got Your Love" (2005).  "I'm a Fire" in its original version is similar to the recent electronic-jazz fusion work that Jody Watley has been known for on her last two albums. The sound is worn by Summer's colorful voice nicely, the "Solitaire Club Mix" is also well done. It drops a wicked keyboard riff that is so house, so black and vogue, you can't help but to take it down to the floor.

Summer described the title of the record by saying, "My dream is that when people hear the music it will remind them of their youth, their childhood and the joy and wonderment they felt exploring their first pack of crayons." On board to produce the record are Danielle Brisebois, Greg Kurstin, JR Rotem, Lester Mendez and Evan Bogart. The two that really got me going are Rotem and Mendez. Rotem produced Jennifer Lopez's last underrated gem Brave (2007) and Mendez worked on Jewel's 0304 (2003). Both producers craft excellent pop music that is creative and interesting to the ear, something Summer has always been about.  In the midst of the Madonna's current musical blunder
(I say that with all the love and adoration for her), it's great to see the true "Queen of Pop Music Reinvention" making an overdue return.-QH

[Editor's Note: Visit this tribute page for the up-to-the minute news and information: . You'll also find the link to her official page there, which is still under construction for the new project.-QH]


S. Flemming said...

Her voice is still quite strong ... her early albums are among my favorites, especially "Once Upon a Time."

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD!!!! I have loved Donna since the disco era. I secretly heart her to this day. She is an American Icon and I wish her all the best with her newest release. I'm all on it. Its a must in my collection.