Music Reviews

Patti LaBelle

Greatest Love Songs

Hip-O

Boy, you mention this woman’s name before my Pops, and he’ll regale you with the tales of his being a lad in Kingston falling instantly in love with Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles. To my father, Ms. LaBelle is, plain and simply, perfection. Well, as a testament to this truly great artist with “The Voice” that could knock down the walls of Jericho, I, too, grew up with Patti and, while I don’t consider her a cherub on Earth, I do revel in her brilliance (she is only second to Aretha, after all).

From the Blue Belles to LaBelle to going solo and playing Dwayne Wayne’s Mom on A Different World, Patti LaBelle is a woman who can never be tamed. Even in this collection of love songs, her verve and passion shine through. Unfortunately, Hip-O only saw fit to concentrate on the Patti I grew up with (focusing mainly on her ’80s and ’90s work), these ballads are what steam had in mind when it first started hissing. “If Only You Knew,” “Joy to Have Your Love,” “If You Asked Me To” (probably the only Diane Warren song I like), “The Best is Yet to Come” (definitely one of the only Grover Washington, Jr. songs I like), “You Are My Friend,” and MUCH MUCH MORE!!! While they definitely could’ve replaced the Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis cut with “A Little Girl,” this compilation shows the power and passion and beauty of The Voice that continues to devastate even in its fifth decade.

Hip-O Records: http://www.hip-o.com


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