Natalie Cole - Inseparable (reissue)

Natalie Cole
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Natalie Cole has had the type of career and longevity that is the envy of nearly any musical artist.  Cole has been making music for some 30+ years and shows no signs of slowing down.  And one the most critically acclaimed debuts of the mid-seventies, the newly re-released Inseparable, proved to be the beginning of a phenomenal singing career that would encompass the genres of R&B, pop, jazz, and gospel. 

Natalie Cole has had the type of career and longevity that is the envy of nearly any musical artist.  Cole has been making music for some 30+ years and shows no signs of slowing down.  And one the most critically acclaimed debuts of the mid-seventies, the newly re-released Inseparable, proved to be the beginning of a phenomenal singing career that would encompass the genres of R&B, pop, jazz, and gospel. 

Inseparable exploded onto the music scene, garnering Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.  The excitement of Inseparable came with the fact that the daughter of Nat "King" Cole was thrilling audiences with her overwhelming vocal energy and fire.  Some critics even suggested that Natalie Cole was the new "Queen of Soul," a comparison with Aretha Franklin that sometimes generated unwanted pressure and public backlash for Cole.  Despite all the attention Inseparable received, one fact remains: Natalie Cole released a debut album that stood the test of time. Inseparable is still full of the same vigor it possessed some 32 years ago. 

Most legendary vocalists have their signature hits, and one of Natalie Cole's is "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)," which is among the most remarkable debut singles ever.  From the gospel piano intro to Cole's soulful hums to the memorable lyrics and instrumental transitions, "This Will Be" was an excellently arranged track that became Cole's first #1 R&B smash and remains a force on R&B and pop radio (and now serves as the theme song for eHarmony.com).  The title track, a heartfelt love ballad that became her second #1 single, is also an R&B classic largely due to the fine arrangement and Cole's emotional vocal performance.  Classics like "Joey" and "I Can't Say No" still receive airplay on R&B adult contemporary and quiet storm formats.   And tracks such as "Something For Nothing," "I Love Him So Much," and "How Come You Won't Stay Here" showcase Cole's relentlessly soulful vocals, combining to make Inseparable an astounding debut.  The final cut, "You," begins with Natalie's sexy dialogue and evolves into a heart wrenching ballad where Cole lets loose vocally and emotionally.  This cut would later be covered by none other than Aretha Franklin. Thanks to the superb writing and production team of Chuck Jackson and the late Marvin Yancy and Cole's unrestrained performance, Inseparable proved to be the beginning or continuation of a great musical legacy.

After Natalie Cole's success with Inseparable, she went to record a string of highly successful gold and platinum albums as well as topping the R&B charts four more times and scoring numerous R&B and pop top ten hits.  Most recently, Cole recorded the Grammy nominated Leavin', which was a return to her soulful roots.  Ironically, a track on that album, "The More You Do It, (The More I Like It Done)," pays homage to her classic hit "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)."  One could say that Natalie Cole's career has gone a highly successful full circle.  I would say that the circle is no where near complete and we have yet to hear more of the wonder of Natalie Cole.  The best is yet to come.  It is gratifying to listen where Natalie Cole's musical journey began on Inseparable.  To those who have never heard this album, you are in for a "real" soulful musical experience. Highly recommended

By Steven Riggs

 
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