Sunday, January 24, 2016

Phyllis Nelson-I Like You (1986)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: January 24, 2016

Making another parachute landing while I trek onward in my 80's Sunday music-listening adventure. This latest stop seems me stepping back in time with the HI-NRG, post-disco/pop singer, Phyllis Nelson, not to be confused with the other Phyllis—the late HI-NRG disco singer, Phyllis Hyman. What I always readily recall when remembering Ms. Nelson is her memorable dance hit, "I Like You", which serves as the title track to her second and final studio album. First song of hers I'd ever heard (even if it was some time well after the 90's was over with), and it immediately became a hit, catching on to the way she almost playfully sings the title lyrics in the main chorus. Can never forget those 'pokey' electronic sound effects in the production about midway through, making the song even more of a dancey addiction! Yet I hadn't quite remembered just how versatile and distinctively fluttery her soulful voice was until I played the song for myself tonight after so many years. If not noticeable on the title track, then it's absolutely unmistakable on the follow up slow jam, "It's Tonight". She shows off those chords of hers extremely well, especially when she reaches those higher notes in what ends up being a wonderful love song and an overall wonderful performance to boot! One more good reason why I totally miss the music of the 80's is represented by Track #3's "Face The Music". That 'let's face the music and dance!' in the main chorus and that wild scream of 'whoo!' are just a couple of the moments highlighting this lively jam! Had just as much fun jammin' to "Chemical Reaction", one of those where the singer mixes together a simple romantic formula that equates to a whole lotta kissin' and lovin'. The beats already produce excellent ear candy before the light jazz accompaniment sweeps in , making the music—and this "Chemical Reaction"—even sweeter. You like sweet treats? Yeah, me too, and Track #7's "Move Closer" is one for your ears to indulge in. Easily a perfect choice for the quiet storm playlist and the next candidate for your next 'Slow Jam Of The Night', this intimate number has so much of that romantic 80's soulful glow that'll make you want to, as the title commands, move closer to that special significant someone. Even more vocal explosions by Ms. Nelson on " Reachin' " and "Don't Stop The Train" while there's a vocal celebration happening on the concluding cut, "Land Of Make Believe", which I myself believe is the highlight of this Phyllis Nelson show! Love these 'Songs For The People' with the positive, inspirational messages, and that's just part of the reason why the "Land Of Make Believe" is such a beautiful listen. The other reason is the bouncy beat and the overall sunny vibe of majestic triumph, accented by the unified backup vocalists adding a spiritual, ethnic overtone when they come together during the main chorus. Yeah, there certainly is lots to like about " I Like You"; what will you like about it?

1. I Like You
2. It's Tonight
3. Face The Music
4. Happy To See You
5. Reachin'
6. Chemical Reaction
7. Move Closer
8. Don't Stop The Train
9. Then Came You
10. Land Of Make Believe

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