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Diana Ross - Thank You (Album Review)

Wednesday, 17 November 2021 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Ross Naess

Thank You’ is Diana Ross’ 25th studio album and the first since 2006’s wretched ‘I Love You’—a covers record that would have otherwise served as an unsatisfactory coda to a magnificent recording career. And while there is no evidence that this will indeed be the 77-year-old Michigander’s last offering, it’s hard to avoid a sense of finality as that title runs up against songs full of groove, heart and sentimentality.

That said, ‘Thank You’ still struggles on its own terms. Tracks are inconsistent, and while Ross’s voice has a rich directness that elevates much of the work, the lyrics are often tediously grandiose and mushy, collapsing into bromide soothings and clichés.

A main offender here is If The World Just Danced, a Europop song clearly aimed at underlining Ross’s status as a queer icon. The track is locked into the 1990s with dated drum patches, brain-warp samples and scattergun melodic motifs. It’s trying to cash in on Ross-as-1970s-disco-icon, but lacks the innovation, bravery and creativity of that heyday.

That said, there are some nice turns on ‘Thank You’. Count on Me is an elegant ballad with a detailed arrangement and the nebulous gentility that has bolstered much of Ross’s softer work. Elsewhere, I Still Believe starts as a musical theatre piano ditty before dropping into a disco two-step of emotional complexity and integrity. It’s one of the album’s high points.

Additionally, closer Come Together is an attempt at a groovy anthem that has some brilliant work undermined by shoddy processed horns. It’s a vexing choice one suspects could have been obviated had there been a more direct, powerful producer.

While Diana Ross is in the upper echelon of pop grandees, ‘Thank You’ demonstrates how her catalogue of hits is probably some way behind those belonging to Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner or Whitney Houston. It’s an album that, though full of compassion and experience, lacks newness and modernity and takes the easy road too often.

Diana Ross Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri June 10 2022 - CARDIFF Cardiff Castle
Sun June 12 2022 - CAMBRIDGE Childerley Orchard
Tue June 14 2022 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Wed June 15 2022 - LEEDS first direct Arena
Fri June 17 2022 - GLASGOW SSE Hydro
Sat June 18 2022 - LIVERPOOL M&S Bank Arena
Mon June 20 2022 - BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena
Tue June 21 2022 - ST AUSTELL Eden Project
Thu June 23 2022 - LONDON O2 Arena
Fri June 24 2022 - LONDON O2 Arena
Tue June 28 2022 - LANCASHIRE Lytham Green
Wed June 29 2022 - DURHAM Emirates Riverside

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