15 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 1981 set Something About You was Angela Bofill’s first album for Arista. That meant it was overseen by industry guru Clive Davis, who was just starting to cement his legacy as a mentor to strong female singers. The album was produced by Narada Michael Walden, a veteran jazz drummer–turned–producer who'd soon hit it big working with Whitney Houston. While Something About You flattened some of the jazz pedigree that had made Bofill’s first albums so creatively successful, Davis and Walden helped win her a whole new audience with the snappy pop tunes “Holdin’ Out for Love” and “Something About You.” “Tropical Love” and “I Do Love You” were as lithe and silky as anything on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, but love ballads were quickly becoming Bofill’s specialty. As songs, there's nothing particularly unique about “You Should Know by Now,” “Break It to Me Gently," and “Time to Say Goodbye,” but the subtlety and truth of Bofill’s voice make them special. Even when working with the generic pop material that Davis favored, Bofill brought her songs a jazz chanteuse’s attention to phrasing and storytelling.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 1981 set Something About You was Angela Bofill’s first album for Arista. That meant it was overseen by industry guru Clive Davis, who was just starting to cement his legacy as a mentor to strong female singers. The album was produced by Narada Michael Walden, a veteran jazz drummer–turned–producer who'd soon hit it big working with Whitney Houston. While Something About You flattened some of the jazz pedigree that had made Bofill’s first albums so creatively successful, Davis and Walden helped win her a whole new audience with the snappy pop tunes “Holdin’ Out for Love” and “Something About You.” “Tropical Love” and “I Do Love You” were as lithe and silky as anything on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, but love ballads were quickly becoming Bofill’s specialty. As songs, there's nothing particularly unique about “You Should Know by Now,” “Break It to Me Gently," and “Time to Say Goodbye,” but the subtlety and truth of Bofill’s voice make them special. Even when working with the generic pop material that Davis favored, Bofill brought her songs a jazz chanteuse’s attention to phrasing and storytelling.

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