Get Lost In Jody Watley's 'Paradise'

Thursday, July 31, 2014

As a trendsetting chanteuse of all things funky and glamorous, Jody Watley's latest endeavor isn't all that abnormal. Sure she cannonballs into high octane electronica and brings cutting edge producers like Mark de Clive-Lowe and Soulpersona into the froth, but Paradise carries Madame Watley's repertoire with high regard. With all this disco revival stuff going on it's kind of silly to say that Watley is reviving anything. Least we forget she lived the era while being 1/3 of the 1970s funk-pop group, Shalamar, and kept all that fierceness attached when she embarked on her highly successful solo career in the 1980s. Watley has been there and done that, strutted that catwalk, 'whacked' that dancefloor, and been carefree in how she conveys her art, thus teaching the new breed of 'diva' babies is kind of her thing now. Still Watley ain't closing up shop yet, and Paradise is merely Watley sprinkling a little more sparkle on a blueprint she has already successful drafted and continues to redefine.

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


No comments:

Post a Comment

Before you comment remember...
1. Don't be rude!
2. Stay on topic of the post. If you don't stay on topic, either state "off-topic" or your comment will be deleted.
3. If you want to ask an off-topic question and don't see the proper post for it, please e-mail me about it.
4. Don't spam or promote your blog or service. Please e-mail me if you'd like an add to my blog list or need for me to update your blog's URL. If your blog is similar in subject to mine, you will be added to the list.
5. If you have any technical problems with the blog, please e-mail me.

When in doubt, e-mail me at

Thank you :)