Patti LaBelle (MCA)
The pairing of Patti LaBelle and songwriter Diane Warren produces some inspired moments despite the latter’s occasional maudlin streak. R&B vet LaBelle is an evocative, emotionally charged singer with a flair for drama. Warren has created pop-soul hits, including Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart” and Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me.” At her best, as on this album’s “Too Many Tears” and “Time Will,” Warren’s songs pulse with an empowering, you-go-girl drive. The result here is equal parts Oprah and slumber party, a woman-to-woman catalog of love’s ups and downs delivered by an artist who lends dignity and soul to everything and everyone she takes on.
Bottom Line: Still magic