Atlantic Starr ‘Brilliance’ (BBR) 4/5

atlantic-starr1982 was a vintage year for quality soul and Atlantic Starr were flavour of the year with a superb all-round album which has been released here. It was a successor to the well received ‘Radiant’ from 1981 that included the hit ‘Love calls’. This time round the group scored a major soul success with ‘Circles’ which remains a perennial dancefloor favourite and rightly so. It has something of a classic Shalamar feel to it and in general the band were augmented by some top studio musicians with keyboardist Greg Phillinganes going on to perform with no less than Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder among a host of others. A huge underground hit at the time was ‘Love me down’ which has a soulful mid-tempo groove. However, the album was varied and the excellent quiet storm ballad ‘Let’s get closer’ while the southern soul favourite ‘Your love finally ran out’ was composed by no less than Sam Dees. A favourite of this writer is the mid-tempo ‘Perfect love’ featuring the lead vocals of Sharon Bryant who never sounded better than here. Informative sleeve notes courtesy of Blues and Soul and Mojo writer Charles Waring complete the picture. No bonus cuts, but none required when the music is this tasty. Tim Stenhouse