December 14, 1981 12:00 PM

Diana Ross

This is Ross’ first album after ending a 20-year relationship with Motown Records, and the revolutionary statement it makes is not musical but financial. After signing a seven-year deal with RCA (reportedly worth $20 million), she produced this first installment herself and took few chances. No insult intended; Ross is still a class act by most standards. But reviving Why Do Fools Fall in Love, with minimal variation on the 1956 Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers arrangement, seems a bit retrograde; so does the ghastly disco-exercise song Work That Body (Ross herself and Paul Jabara are responsible for such embarrassing lyrics as “We’re still improving/Got these bodies moving”). The theme from Endless Love is on the LP too, but the warmth that composer Lionel Richie added to his No. 1 single version of the tune is lacking. Two Can Make It, on the other hand, is an ideal vehicle for Ross. Upbeat and intimate, it’s a reminder that, at 37, Ross all but dominates whole categories of pop music, if only by default.

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