October 22, 1984 12:00 PM

Donna Summer

The International Society for the Prevention of Any More Songs Using the Metaphor “Flame Burn Higher” should be alerted, since that phrase is part of Supernatural Love, a Summer-Michael Omartian-Bruce Sudano song on this LP. That sort of unimaginative material is, in fact, all too prevalent. The title song has some possibilities at least, and Summer’s revival of the 1959 Drifters’ classic, There Goes My Baby, is fun—though it peters out as if nobody could think of a smart way to end it. Summer’s voice and lyrics are so much at the service of the rhythmic thrust of these basically dull songs, however, that she has to be in peak form, singing something that is sharp and clever, to make much of an impact. Since Bad Girls she has too often ended up with pedestrian material. As always, the prose utilized in Summer’s liner-note dedications is fascinating. This time she goes out of her way to pray that “God will bless anyone and everyone who buys or possesses this record with the truth and the Holy Spirit—with love and understanding—financially and physically in Jesus’ name.” She manages to thank her husband (Sudano), her children, her parents, her producer (Omartian) and “Nellie Prestwood, Helene Oster, Linda Cowan, Bertha Joffrion—who keep me looking good.” And in the case of David Geffen, head of the label she records for, Summer seems to be citing some variation on an old grudge when she says, “Thanks for staying out of the kitchen this time. Now I hope you love this meal.” Our Donna is, obviously, not one of those clawless felines. (Geffen)

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