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Love In the First Degree

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Album Review

With a robust set of pipes, dance diva Evelyn Thomas offered a wealth of bona fide disco and hi-NRG jammers from the mid-'70s through the mid-'90s. On this second full-length effort originally released on Avi in 1979, she is in her prime. The kinetic title cut is an all-out party via its vibrant vocal melodies and arrangements, perky strings, fluid, Latin-tinged percussion, and insinuating chord changes. Thomas's delayed attacks and anticipation are colorful here, too, as they are on the unique and beautiful "Love's Not Just an Illusion" and "My Head's in the Stars." Originally a four-cut album (all of the songs being in the six-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half-minute range), Hot Productions added five non-album tracks to its 1996 CD release of Have a Little Faith in Me. The singer's first two singles, "Weak Spot" and "Doomsday" (from 1975 and 1976, respectively), are included, as well as "Summer on the Beach," "Love in the First Degree," and the mostly instrumental "Sleaze." With the exception of the monotonous moaning and percussion of "Sleaze," it's an invigorating listen throughout. ~ Justin M. Kantor, Rovi


Born: 1953 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Evelyn Thomas was discovered in her hometown of Chicago, IL, by Ian Levine in 1975. Levine had come to America to discover talent for his newly formed Voltafine Production Company. His goal was to record American soul singers and lease the masters to major recording companies. Thomas, an ex-gospel singer, sung in a plain, unemotional voice that masked her ethnicity; Thomas is a black singer who sounds white, by design or by chance. Impressed by her voice and willingness, Levine cut some tracks and...
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Love In the First Degree, Evelyn Thomas
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