REVIEW: Jody Watley – ‘Paradise’

Jody Watley Paradise

Jody Watley of “Looking for a New Love” and “Don’t You Want Me” fame is back after an eight-year hiatus with Paradise. The six-song EP — her first album since 2006’s The Makeover — features music that combines and pays homage to disco, house, soul and jazz.

Prominent on this new collection is Mark de Clive-Lowe. The New Zealand-born, formerly London-living producer helps Watley’s fans head to the dance floor with the tracks “Paradise,” “The Dawn” and “Tonight’s the Night” [MdCL Remix]. “The Dawn” hears Jody singing soft vocals over the beat’s synths and bleeps, but encourages dancers to try and keep up with this playful groove. Denying the beat is even tougher with “Tonight’s the Night” [MdCL Remix], which pounds nearly as hard as a tribal anthem, but is every bit as fierce when demanding floor-fillers to “set your body free” to the stop-and-go beat.

“Paradise” is smooth, merging down-tempo electronica with tropical acoustics and a jazz-driven bass line to complement Watley’s stripped-bare vocals. Equally cool is “Sanctuary,” the Raregrooves Remix by Soulpersona that’s filled with comforting vocals and instantly brings an ambiance of chill to your nighttime lounge.

If you’re ready to get back on the floor, look no further than the Count de Money-produced “Nightlife,” a sonic cousin to The Shapeshifters’s “Lola’s Theme,” especially with its blaring horns and intricately played strings. (Just try to stay seated after watching the video!) And Italian producer Luminodisco’s “Dancer” finds Jody tributing Nile Rodgers of Chic, whose discofied sound has been quite popular since Daft Punk released “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance” last year.

Paradise is a club-ready effort and a solid evolution for an artist who demonstrates forward thinking and tailors it for the dance floor. Buy it today on iTunes, Amazon or Beatport.

Track list:

1. “Nightlife”
2. “Dancer”
3. “The Dawn”
4. “Tonight’s the Night” [MdCL Remix]
5. “Paradise”
6. “Sanctuary” [Soulpersona Raregrooves Remix]