Search The Line of Best Fit
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Thank You is one of Diana Ross' most definitive pieces of work

"Thank You"

Release date: 05 November 2021
8/10
Diana ross thank you art
03 November 2021, 16:15 Written by Ross Horton
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Diana Ross is such a legendary artist that any new music, from original material to covers to singing the damn phonebook, should be treated as an Event. As it is, the music industry is far more wrapped up in what Ed Sheeran’s doing to ever really give over any modicum of attention to what ‘heritage’ acts are doing with their time. More fool them.

Diana Ross’ new record, Thank You, is her first album of new material in decades, her 25th studio album in total, and the first collaboration (hopefully of many) with super-producer Jack Antonoff - who kept himself busy over lockdown with about thirteen different projects, and most of them were world class. Put simply, Ross has entrusted her legacy to the sturdiest pair of hands in the market.

For an album that was created - from first demo to final mix - during a worldwide pandemic, the songs here feel remarkably alive. Back in June, when the album was announced, we got the first real taste of the delicious buffet Ross’s served, when she released the title track. Filled with the kind of youthful exuberance and knowing maturity that the aforementioned Mr Sheeran goes for with unnerving precision, it was telling that one of the co-writers was Amy Wadge, who was at least partially to blame for “Thinking Out Loud”. The title track opens the album, and is both an introduction to, and a summation of, the kind of writing happening throughout the record.

“If the World Danced” and “All Is Well”, which follow, showcase more of the nuanced songwriting and measured melodic precision that Ross is known for - and they also highlight Ross' known excellence in the careful curation of her collaborators. The centre of the album - both literally and figuratively - is the simply incredible pair of “The Answer’s Always Love” (co-written with Siedah Garrett, a close friend of Ross’ protege Michael Jackson), and “Just In Case”, which was co-written with Jimmy Napes and Freddy Wexler.

By the time you’ve reached the closer - the wonderful “Come Together” - Ross and her team have taken you on a whirlwind tour of all of the highlights of her stellar career. There’s soulfulness (and some actual Soul), a knowing ear for melody, and a production that holds up against any of her work with Ashford & Simpson or Rodgers & Edwards.

It feels surreal to experience artists of this calibre reaching such new and refreshing creative peaks this deep into their careers. Diana Ross simply has no right to produce music this engaging, this vital, at this point in her life - and this devil may care attitude has enabled her to produce one of the most definitive bodies of work in her entire career.

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