Luther Vandross - Dance With My Father
Given that his involvement on Beyonce Knowles' Dangerously In Love, The Closer I Get To You, was that album's lowest point amongst many low points, one could be forgiven for thinking that Vandross was long past his prime. His dreary contribution to Beyonce's album was little more than one more example of a waning talent that had been broken over appearances made time and again on Oprah Winfrey's television show, where his waistline created bigger headlines than his music.
It is a surprise, therefore, to hear the quality of Dance With My Father, taken from the album of the same name and which his family believe was responsible for such stresses on its writer that it finally resulted in his slipping into a coma earlier this year. Whilst the song the type of slow ballad that will be familiar to Luther's fans, it finally proves that the man had soul, which had previously been lost amongst appearances on songs by Whitney, Mariah and Beyonce. There is always, however, the nagging doubt that this is the sort of thing that Luther ought to have been able to turn out by the dozen but that doesn't stop it working.
Even the B-side to the single, Take You Out, is a shock, hearing Luther cope with tense West-coast hip-hop. Although it's unlike he would cut it alongside 50 Cent, he's savvy enough not to embaress himself.
Whilst this single is maybe not evidence of there being a master at work, this is certainly the best Luther has been in years and, if interested, the Dance With My Father album could be a solid bet for rich soul in 2004.