Get Lost In Jody Watley's 'Paradise'
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Light in quantity, but potent in quality, Paradise is a party popper, jam-packed with dancefloor scorchers that warrant lots of time spent under a mirrored ball or two. In the simplest of terms: it's damn delightful.
Rooted in Watley's affection for soul, pop, house, and electronica, Paradise plays like the sweeping disco/dance albums of yore, as some tracks linger well into six minute affairs. Time limit aside, everything pops and sizzles, not curdles and burns as opener, "Nightlife" (which was released last year to high praise), kicks down the door blaring trumpets. Merging live instrumentation with heavy-duty electronics proves not to be a struggle for Watley as "Tonight's The Night" pulses feverishly on tribal-esque percussion and "Dancer" bubbles with Chic-esque guitars. Watley doesn't cool down in the slightest as she glides into nocturnal house with "Sanctuary" and gives us one of her finest grooves on the celebratory standout, "The Dawn".
The overall best thing about Paradise (aside from the fact that its gonna make me sweat like I'm in the C+C Music Factory...) is that it's pure Jody Watley. So consistent she has been over the years, dishing out feisty dance tunes left and right, and assaulting us with her stylish stance, but Paradise, in just a small package has Watley come full circle with her entire career. Though most are familiar with hits like "Looking For A New Love", "Still A Thrill" and "Real Love", Paradise is an accumulation of those recognizable classics and Watley's forays into the underground house and club movements of the 2000s with albums like Midnight Lounge and The Saturday Night Experience --- and it all just seamlessly ignites --- as well as brims with new ideas. Jermanie Stewart didn't lie back in '86, as some 30-odd years later, Jody Watley is still that ball of fire, ablaze and in no mood of slowing down.
Release Date: July 28, 2014