Randy Crawford

It’s been way too long since we’ve heard from Randy Crawford. This dazzling new release is perhaps her finest work to date; it certainly ranks with her earlier run of innovative hit albums and singles. On Permanent, Crawford again wraps her soothing, powerful vocals around pretty melodies and uptempo grooves—the gripping opener “Wild Is the Wind,” the emotionally honest “When Will I Be Free of Love’s Taboo,” a remake of Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do,” the swinging title track. All 13 songs ooze with healthy doses of soul, blues and jazz. Her self-assured smoothness flows effortlessly on the distinctive rendition of the Bacharach/David classic “Alfie” and on a new Bacharach composition, “Tell It to Your Heart.” But it’s Crawford’s bittersweet tale of love and betrayal on the standout “When I Get Over You” that showcases her extraordinary vocal range and places her in a musical category all of her own.