May 1st, 2012
Album: Hidden Gems
Artist: Luther Vandross
Label: Epic/Legacy Records
Formats: CD, MP3
Release: April 17, 2012
In 2005, the world lost one of the greatest R&B performers of our time. Multi-platinum recording artist Luther Vandross’s suave and captivating voice transcended through generations as the romantic and sensual mood starter. The album Hidden Gems, released seven years after his passing, features his all too familiar vocal timbre and rhythmic gentleness on songs ranging from original compositions to covers of “The Impossible Dream,” “Goin’ Out of My Head,” and “I (Who Have Nothing).” Also included are rare live performances as well as gems from soundtracks not previously included in Legacy’s Love, Luther box set.
All of the songs on the album showcase Luther’s work during his time at Epic Records (1981-1996), a period that included many of his most successful projects. Six albums from this era are represented: Never Too Much; Forever, For Always, For Love; Any Love; Power of Love; Song; Your Secret Love; and One Night with You: The Best of Love, Volume 2. This collection of original and covered pieces make up a very groovy and inspirational album.
According to Luther’s collaborator, Fonzi Thorton, Luther Vandross, “… wasn’t trying to be the next Sam Cooke, or Peabo Bryson, or Frank Sinatra…. He was just brilliantly intuitive about what songs showcased the dynamics of his vocal ability and radiated soul in a way that has not been heard in R&B and pop music before or since. He didn’t have to sweat or shout or do splits—he opened his heart and left us beautiful Diamonds, Rubies and Emeralds of Music.”
This compilation is evidence that even after Luther Vandross’s passing, his music has withstood the test of time. Audiences new and old will never forget the impact that he left on the R&B world and audiences hearts.
Rest in Peace Luther Vandross (1951-2005).
Reviewed by DeVol Tyson II
Review Genre(s): Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Funk