Diana Ross’ first album in 15 years cuts through our present cynicism and slices past the despair
Diana Ross’ first album in 15 years cuts through our present cynicism and slices past the despair. “Thank You” is a warm hug of music, less a tightly constructed pop vehicle, than a mood.
“It never rains forever,” Ross sings in one song. On another: “Turn it up/And give love a chance.” On a third she asks: “What if we could find a way/To laugh, love and pray?”
“Thank You” is a twinkling, blissful and bubbly wave of optimism, like being invited to a champagne party on a puffy cloud. Our hostess is full of goodwill, her voice warm and welcoming. There’s no velvet rope. All are welcome. “No matter what the question/I know the answer/The answer’s always love,” she sing.
The 13-track album finds Ross at the intersection of ‘70s disco, ’80s electronica, ’90s house and the production savvy of the 2020s. There are two speeds — twinkling ballads and bootie-shakers.
But don’t get the wrong idea about the up-tempo ones. There’s nothing raunchy here. The song “Let’s Do It” isn’t about bedding anyone: “Let’s do it,” she sings. “Let’s make life better together.”
With “In Your Heart,” Ross urges us to “reach out and just touch somebody” – a nod to her 1970 hit “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).” She revisits the opening lyrics of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” for “Beautiful Love.”
“Dankie” is Ross’ first collection of original songs since 1999’s “Every Day Is a New Day.” Cynics might dismiss it as overly sentimental, but is that a serious crime? She wants to say thank you, but we should be the ones thanking her.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits