CANDI STATON: CANDI STATON (1980)
1) Looking For Love; 2) Halfway To Heaven; 3) One More Try; 4) If You Feel The Need; 5) The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game; 6) It's Real; 7) Betcha I'm Gonna Get Ya; 8) Living Inside Me.
Usually the appearance of an album titled after the artist's name in the middle of the artist's career symbolizes a reboot of sorts — but there's nothing rebootable whatsoever in this record, a stereotypical dance-pop successor to Chance, so I'm guessing this rather reflects a complete lack of inspiration. Yes, it is sad when the album's best track turns out to be a 14-year old cover (ʽThe Hunter Gets Captured By The Gameʼ), and, furthermore, one that adds practically nothing to the original — at least when Blondie covered the same track two years later, they completely reworked the arrangement, but this here is a fairly loyal reproduction, weakened only by sterile touches of early Eighties' production.
Candi is a little more involved than usual this time, writing three of the songs and even self-producing a part of the album, but it does not help. Of these three songs, two (ʽHalfway To Heavenʼ and ʽIt's Realʼ) are generic ballads, one «modern» and one «retro», but both equally forgettable; and one (ʽBetcha I'm Gonna Get Yaʼ) is a dance-pop number so bland and faceless, it would probably make even the elevator cringe at the idea of having it played in it. For the single, they chose a composition by Andy Schwartz, the part-time keyboardist of Chic, ʽLooking For Loveʼ, and the best I can say about it is that it has a memorable-through-repetition chorus, oh, and disco bass king Norbert Sloley slaps up some cool lines, but that's about it. The single charted very modestly on the US R&B charts, then disappeared without a trace.
Supposedly this is the absolute nadir of Candi's career — here, her gradual reduction from a nice human being with a sharp sense of taste to a simplistic «musical roach» is complete, and even such a nice gesture as transferring some control over the creative process into the lady's own hands does not work: her songwriting talents are insufficient to overcome the bland standards of commercial R&B in 1980, and as a producer, well, she's no Prince for sure. At least the album cover photo does not strain so heavily to «sexualize» the artist, but then again, boring songs and not even any cleavage to make up for that? This is an insult for male chauvinist pigs worldwide, so clearly, a thumbs down is the only possible reaction.