by: Emotions

The Hutchinson sisters' first charting album since 1969, 1976's Flowers found the Emotions out of the Volt enclave and under the wing of Earth, Wind & Fire's Maurice White. Revamping their classic girl group soul sounds to incorporate the more eclectic nuances of White's production, the resultant brassed-up disco proved to be on target and their Kalimba debut cruised straight into the Top Five in August. With fellow Earth, Wind & Fire members Verdine and Fred White adding their unmistakable chops to the sound, the Emotions ultimately emerged with an absolutely stunning brew that kept their powerful vocal harmonies well spotlighted, while adding more than a little funk to the sound. Leading with the one-two punch of the hit singles "I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love" and "Flowers," the combination brought the marriage of their styles fully to bear as the former sizzled with Verdine's classic, elastic bass and the latter smoothed the mood with the girls' sweet R&B vocals. With those two songs revealing Flowers' intentions, the rest of the set spools out in similar fashion, as the punchy funk of "We Go Through Changes" is tempered by the quiet "Me for You," while the lighthearted pathos of "No Plans for Tomorrow" falls deliciously in the middle. And, although the Emotions wouldn't sweep the top spot until their massive "Best of My Love" the following year, Flowers nevertheless remains an important and, even more significantly, eminently pleasant precursor to that groove. ~ Amy Hanson

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.