The industry’s obsession with the fluffy ingenue obscures grown women singers into the land of independents which gets richer everyday. Luckily for Vesta she started her career at a time when there was more appreciation for the Old School singer. Whitney Houston, Regina Belle, and Anita Baker were other singers in that ’80’s class to know the difference between singing and relying on a machine-operated image to distract from vocal expectations. “Don’t Blow A Good Thing” and “Congratulations” are Black R and B anthems reminiscent of their time period and tireless sentiments about lost love. When other performers with less lung power arrived Vesta kept performing on the Black theater circuit and released music intermittently. Distant Lover goes back to the classic material most soul singers have studied at some point to sharpen their craft. Cover songs are dreadful when there is no balance between individual personality and original integrity which Vesta accomplishes well in this collection. Ms. Williams’ clean pipes poses well as another Williams (Deniece), matching her high notes on “Free” but using her own subtle phrasing in the delivery of words. Marvin Gaye’s tortured torch bearing “Distant Lover” is transformed into a heavenly confession of devotion by Williams’ replacement of angst with felicity. No frills production and luxury from the pure voice enlivens this great songlist gingerly chosen by a singer of great worth who puts in her own panache without plucking the music from its roots.
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