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Make a Difference

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Album Review

A gospel-influenced R&B/dance music belter with a big, booming voice, Colonel Abrams was compared to James "D-Train" Williams (of "You're the One for Me" and "Keep Giving Me Love" fame) more than anyone else in the 1980s. And when Make a Difference came out in 1996, D-Train was still a valid comparison. But Abrams was never a clone of anyone, and he always comes across as his own man on this excellent but underexposed CD. Abrams' roots were the soul and disco of the late '70s, a fact that's hard to miss on such intoxicating house-music delights as "I'm Caught Up," "99 1/2" and "As Quiet as It's Kept." Don't let the high-tech production fool you; Abrams' dance music is consistently mindful of disco's northern soul roots. Though fast tempos and a club orientation dominate Make a Difference, "Get With You" reminds us how effective the singer can be on ballads. It's unfortunate that this disc isn't better known.


Born: Detroit, MI

Genre: Dance

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

Detroit-born vocalist Colonel Abrams (his actual name) enjoyed moderate success in the late '80s, singing in a harsh, terse soul style while fitting his voice into a garage and house setting. Abrams was in the group Conservative Manor with his brother Morris in the late '60s, then sang lead vocals for 94 East in 1976. Their roster included Prince on guitar. Abrams later joined Surprise Package, a New Jersey group. He scored a mild hit in 1984 with the ballad "Leave the Message Behind the Door" for...
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Make a Difference, Colonel Abrams
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