Let Me Be Your Woman

by: Linda Clifford

After the success of If My Friends Could See Me Now, Linda Clifford continued in a similar vein with this lavishly produced album. Let Me Be Your Woman was even more directly aimed at the dancefloor than her previous outings and was released in two versions, a single album edition with edited tracks and a deluxe edition that stretched the album's tracks to cover four sides' worth of vinyl (the latter is the one reviewed here). It starts well with "Hold Me Close," a Curtis Mayfield-penned song that effectively pits the hypnotic chant of the title against a strong, percussive groove, and the title track, a melodramatic orchestrated ballad that Clifford pulls off through an impressively emotional performance. After that, Let Me Be Your Woman suffers from the same inconsistency that dogged Clifford's previous outings and the fact that it is a double album makes this problem more pronounced. The biggest examples of this problem are "Don't Give It Up," a pseudo-feminist dance track with a ranting tone that becomes especially ludicrous when stretched to nine minutes, and "Sweet Melodies," a mid-tempo track that endlessly spins its wheels in search of the strong hooks that it lacks. The album picks up at the end with an over-the-top up-tempo remake of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," but wading through four padded sides of material to get to it is too much to ask from anyone except the most devoted fan. Ultimately, Let Me Be Your Woman is too taxing a listen for the casual pop music fan but its stronger moments will still hold appeal for disco historians. ~ Donald A. Guarisco

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