Title - 'Brilliance: Expanded' (Cherry Red)
Artist - Atlantic Starr
Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Atlantic Starr scored several hits on the R&B charts. However, significant crossover success (onto the pop charts) did not come until halfway into the 80s, with the release of their As The Band Turns album, and the single 'Secret Lovers.'
Indeed, it was at this time that the band had pared itself down to a quintet, consisting of the three Lewis brothers, Phillips, and Weathers.
By the time A&M Records released Atlantic Starr's fourth album BRILLIANCE in March 1982, the band were riding the crest of a wave of success that began with their 1981 LP, Radiant.
The first song, ‘Love Me Down’ is a lovely way for the band to introduce those not-known to them previously. A group ensemble in both vocals and instruments, the song smacks of ‘80s soul - and it should! It was also one of their hit singles from the album and can be found on many of their Hits compilations even today. That’s followed by ‘Sexy Dancer’ (“I want to squeeze you and tease you the way you tease me girl … you bring the freak out of me”), a track that allows the men to take the lead vocals and relies heavily on some orchestrated high-pitched synth work.
Next up are the funky bass beats of the dance floor slide hit ‘Love Moves,’ which bring us quite easily one of the best tracks on here. They bring the lights down low for the heartbreak storytelling of ‘Your Love Finally Ran Out,’ before the second hit single from the album, ‘Circles’ is brought forth. One of the breeziest tracks on the album, it’s got driving with the top down in the summer sun written all over it. And, funnily enough, it still sounds as fresh today as it was back then!
There’s no short songs on here so as much as they only total eight (8) not one track is under four minutes - and average around nearly five minutes per song, in truth! And although this claims to be an Expanded Edition there are no extended tracks or remixes to be found, weirdly! Anyway, up next is another ballad this time in the last song of the night spirit of ‘Let’s Get Closer.’ The album is then brought to a close with the gentle Kool and The Gangesque ’Perfect Love,’ and then finally the slow jam funk of ‘You’re The One.’
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
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