(This CD includes the bonus track "Today And Everyday.")
Former Miss America Vanessa Williams is far from just another pretty face. The New York native is a world-class singer and critically acclaimed actress with an impressive list of credits. Williams, whose satin voice has entranced us over the years with such hits as "Save The Best For Last" and "Love Is," returns with an impressive cover album. Everlasting Love is a collection of well-known songs from some of the most well-known performers and songwriters from the past century.
It may be cliche to say it (or write it), but Vanessa Williams is one of those vocalists who could sing the phone book and sound great doing it. Hearing the delicious diva croon her way through the classic "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," a track made famous by another diva, Roberta Flack, is an exhilarating experience. Williams' voice drips enough passion to fill the Grand Canyon. On Chaka Khan's popping "Everlasting Love," the singer rides her vocals down low and back up again while a disco-influenced, '70s production swirls wildly around her.
George Benson joins Williams for a string-drenched "With You I'm Born Again." The duo's voices fuse together beautifully. Benson also adds his slick vocals to the serpentine "Never Can Say Goodbye." The funky arrangement will remind listeners of the wah-wah heavy music from old TV shows like Shaft and Starsky & Hutch. Williams is smashing on Melissa Manchester's crafted and earnest "Midnight Blue." The sultry arrangement of acoustic guitars, piano and organ perfectly complement Williams' elegant vocals.
The Phil Spector-like wall of sound on "Show And Tell," and the Stax-influenced "Let's Love" allow Williams to demonstrate the depth of her vocal talent. "You Are Everything" is pure pop gold. The song could easily fit on a Backstreet Boys or TLC album. James 'D-Train' Williams duets with Vanessa on the plucky "I'll Be Good To You." The two singers get their R&B groove on to a blasting horn section, funkadelic bass, and a jackhammer beat that doesn't let up. The Isley Brothers' gospel track "Harvest For The World" may seem like an odd inclusion at first, but Williams' cry for the coming harvest of God is potent to say the least.
Guys, if you want a CD to help get your sweetie in the mood, pick up a copy of Everlasting Love.