by Stephanie Mills

CD(Bonus Tracks)

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The soulful songstress is at her finest on this highly entertaining nine-song set. The funky, jazzy "My Body" brings traces of early house music to the table with its feverish vocals, keyboards, and Latin-spiced percussion, while the cool and breezy -- yet lyrically straight to the point -- ballad "Do You Love Him" features one of Mills' most expertly delivered performances on record. She also turns in some enticing vocal interplay with singer Peggi Blu on the clever "His Name Is Michael." Unlike later "confrontational" duets by Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston ("It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be") or Brandy and Monica ("The Boy Is Mine") dealing with two-timing boyfriends, both the lyrics and Mills and Blu's interpretation give the matter a lighthearted, humorous spin that is oh so appealing. Two other fine ballads pop up in the grabbing, the Prince-penned "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?" (R&B number 12; also released by Prince as B-side in 1982) and the romantic "Eternal Love" (recorded the same year by Whitney Houston on co-writer Paul Jabara's Paul Jabara & Friends album, also on Casablanca). "Pilot Error" (R&B number 12) and the cute "Here I Am," meanwhile, are fun dance entries. Every song on Merciless is solid, vocally and production-wise. Producers Gary Klein and David Wolfert and Phil Ramone bring out the best of the songs and help bring back the vocal energy that had been missing from much of the material on Mills' two preceding albums. It's definitely her best album for Casablanca, as well as one of her best overall. ~ Justin M. Kantor

Product Details

Release Date: 03/26/2013
UPC: 5013929078536
catalogNumber: 2907853
Rank: 49889

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Stephanie Mills   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Victor Feldman   Percussion
Michael Sembello   Background Vocals
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Nathan East   Bass
Ed Greene   Drums
Lani Groves   Background Vocals
Yvonne Lewis   Background Vocals
Johnny Mandel   Synthesizer
Danny Sembello   Synthesizer
Myrna Smith   Background Vocals
Nyle Steiner   Synthesizer
Neil Stubenhaus   Bass
Richard Tee   Keyboards
Ian Underwood   Synthesizer
Carlos Vega   Drums
Ed Walsh   Synthesizer,Synthesizer Bass
David Wolfert   Conductor
Frank Floyd   Background Vocals
Greg Phillingaines   Piano,Keyboards
Cruz Sembello   Background Vocals
John Robinson   Drums
Richard Ree   Piano
Peggie Blue   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Stephanie Mills   Producer,Album Concept
Prince   Composer
Brooks Arthur   Producer
Michael Sembello   Composer
Lee DeCarlo   Engineer
Gary Klein   Producer
Charles Koppelman   Executive Producer
Trevor Lawrence   Arranger
Brad Leigh   Engineer
Johnny Mandel   Arranger
Phil Ramone   Producer
Jay Rifkin   Engineer
Ralph Schuckett   rhythm arrangement
David Wolfert   Arranger,Producer
Cassandra Mills   Album Concept
David Nathan   Reissue Producer
Kevin Goins   Liner Notes
Glen Christensen   Art Direction
Marie Ostrosky   Engineer
Mac James   Artwork
Frank Floyd   Vocal Arrangements
Brian McGee   Engineer
Roger Williams   Artwork
John Arrais   Engineer,Remixing
Peter Chaiken   Engineer
Louis St. Lewis   Composer
Janet Alhonti   Composer
Edward Karam   Arranger

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