May 6, 2019 Dionne Warwick – She’s Back (Album Review)
Ranking among the 41 biggest hit-makers of the entire Rock-n-Roll era, based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts, Dionne Warwick is an icon figure in music. She is second only to Aretha Franklin as the most-charted female vocalist of all-time, with 56 of her singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998, and 80 singles making all Billboard charts combined. A legendary singer, she has also acted, been a television show host, and become the United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization and a United States Ambassador of Health.
Now, at 78 years of age, she returns with her amply titled new album, She’s Back, on Friday, May 17th through Entertainment One. Warwick’s first album in five years, featuring collaborations with other R&B artists including Kenny Lattimore, Musiq Soulchild, Brian McKnight, as well as Bone, Thugs & Harmony’s Krayzie Bone, it also marks her first album dedicated to R&B/Soul in fifty years.
Produced by her son Damon Elliott, the album begins with “Am I Dreaming.” Featuring Musiq Soulchild, the opening track is full of smooth and mellow rhythms, sure to get the listener in a relaxing mood. On it goes with “Tears Ago,” a song that is telling a story to get lost in. Slow and thoughtful, Warwick sings each word, taking the listener by the hand, leading them through her memory. From there, the slow tunes continue with “What Color Is Love,” featuring Kenny Latt, continuing to create a mellow atmosphere to drift off with.
Thereafter, the solo track “How Do You Keep The Music Playing” is a sad, melancholic track about losing a loved one and yet keeping going. Lightening the mood, and little more upbeat, “Déjà Vu,” with Krayzie Bone, features a catchy rhythm in the chorus and has high potential to get stuck in the listener’s head. Keeping it positive, “Dream With No Love” is full of hope and strength to carry on full of catchy rhythm where you might find yourself moving along to. The following, a collaboration with Brian McKnight, “Forever In My Heart” adds some swing, making it one to dance along to, or at least sway with for a bit.
Keeping the muscles loose, “We’re In Love” is complete with snapping of the fingers. In fact, you might finally find one’s self joining in with the groove. This is while “You Really Started Something” adds some disco lights onto the already opened dance floor thanks to the addition of an irresistible chorus. Then, offering a breather from all the body moving, “Two Ships” is a track featuring FIJI that is almost melancholic; adding some heaviness to the otherwise happy mood the album. This is while “Life Is Waiting” sounds like a Gospel piece you might find one sing at Sunday’s church service. “If I Want To” could be mistaken for a page out of Warwick’s personal diary. Then, bringing the groove back, there is the hopeful “We Need To Go Back,” the calming “What A Fool Believes,” and closer “What The World Needs Now.” The finale, a well-known hit of Warwick’s that she originally recorded back in the 1960s, the updated version is wonderfully done, acting as a telling message to send to the world.
Overall, Dionne Warwick has created a brilliant album, different from her usual music and yet perfectly fitting. Complete with beautiful lyrics wrapped in catchy rhythms, her smooth voice leads through every song, every mood, creating a vivid picture about the ups and downs of life. Definitely worth listening to, Cryptic Rock gives She’s Back 4 out of 5 stars.