The Force Behind the Power

by: Diana Ross

On her first album of the '90s, Diana Ross attempted to keep up with the times, adding light New Jack beats and synthesized urban contemporary arrangements. It may have been a good idea in theory, but The Force Behind the Power fails in practice. Most of the music sounds too carefully considered, and Ross never quite sounds comfortable with the new sonic surface. Another problem is the material -- most of it is simply not memorable. And when there is a good song, like Nick Lowe's "Battlefield," it's destroyed in the arrangements. There are a couple of moments where it seems like it's going to all come together, but for the most part, The Force Behind the Power is a bungled attempt at contemporizing Miss Ross. And it's questionable whether such an effort was necessary in the first place. [The U.K. edition of The Force Behind the Power has an additional song, "No Matter What You Do," which is a duet with Al B. Sure!.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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