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Album Review

Not to be confused with the late film star Madeline Kahn, dance artist Madleen Kane looks like a sultry Kim Bassinger in some of the five photos on the back of the Cheri album. Arranger Thor Baldursson plays keyboards, and with ever-present drummer Keith Forsey, bassist Les Hurdle, and guitarist Matts Bjorklund, the crew who created Donna Summer's 1977 album I Remember Yesterday put together this interesting hybrid project. Side one is a risqué full platter of one incessant dance beat which melts the four song titles into each other. "Forbidden Love"/"Fire in Your Heart" and "Cheri" are ten minutes of heavy disco strings. The suite is perfectly constructed so that a nightclub DJ could pick up the mix from anywhere on side A of this album. The singer, leading a heavy chorus, separates the second and third songs with the title "Cheri." "Love is an open door" the chanteuse sings to her lady love, no sexual ambiguity here as they take a Donna Summer/Barry Manilow line from "Could It Be Magic" and repeat it over and over. And as Donna Summer had "Spring Affair," the writers come up with "Secret Love Affair" for Kane. It's an additional seven-and-a-half minutes which plays to the chic gay dance club experimentation of the '70s continuing the thread with no thought for the groove separating the songs. A reprise of "Forbidden Love" comes up at the end with no mention on the tracking. Side two is more song-oriented with mainstream ideas. Kane's voice falls somewhere between Claudine Longet and Olivia Newton-John, not extraordinary by any stretch, but she is competent and the album is very listenable. There's nothing groundbreaking here, the songwriters/producers lifting ideas from Dusty Springfield's "The Windmills of Your Mind" for "You and I," cliché being the rule as the album is rife with '70s pop phrasings and hints of the work the Bee Gees and their protégés like Samantha Sang and brother Andy Gibb were up to. You've heard this all before, whether you wanted to or not. But Cheri is so good in emulating all the elements of what was hot on the radio and in the dance clubs that it actually plays better years later — it never got the overexposure which makes other music from this era sound stale. Producers Michaele Sebastian, Lana Sebastian, and Paul Sebastian wrote all the material, recorded the album in Paris, and mixed it in Munich. International flavors abound, and songs like "Don't Leave Me Now" innocently entertain. Interesting how a classic rock artist like the keyboard player for Procol Harum could put an album of pop ballads together with his 1980 Matthew Fisher album and really pluck at your heartstrings while Madleen Kane the year before keeps the same sentiment all very bubbly. The songs of heartbreak don't break your heart at all; they are pleasant and innocent and won't disturb if played as background music.

Cheri, Madleen Kane
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  • 6,93 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, R&B/Soul, Disco
  • Released: 1979

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