Review Summary: Luther is being Luther for the sixth time, and it's just as good as it ever was.
When discussing Luther Vandross’ 80’s material, you’ll quickly start to sound redundant. Each album has more or less the same mix of upbeat barbecue jams and sultry wedding anthems but with some slight instrumental differences per record. Never Too Much
and Forever, For Always, For Love
both have a very warm and comfortable quality with an emphasis on lush string and piano arrangements while Busy Body
and The Night I Fell In Love
have a more nighttime, moody tone with a more synth oriented and bass guitar-driven sound. Any Love
picks up where Give Me The Reason
left off with a mix of the two themes but with a more polished sound than its predecessor. It’s not necessarily new ground for Luther but that doesn’t matter because of one very important element I’ve so far left out.
Luther’s voice is just a big bear hug to the soul. “The Velvet Voice” couldn’t be a more appropriate nickname for the man. It’s very soft, soothing. Whether it be the bright and bubbly “Come Back,” the classy and uplifting “Any Love,” or the sweet and subdued “Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” his beautiful voice is always reigning supreme in what you take away from it. It has such a wonderful quality to it that it’s hard to comment on it in any negative way. The main fault with it is it’s fairly one-note. It’s easily recognizable but it’s always the same, even on these different styles of songs.
Smooth Soul was an oversaturated genre in the 80’s. Many singers and groups had albums with a big hit or two and a slew of unimaginative and unremarkable deep cuts. Luther never had this issue, for even if something wasn’t up to the standard of the mega hits like “Never Too Much” or “A House Is Not A Home,” it never fell too short enough to be noticed as so. Even being on his sixth album, Luther Vandross does the same as before just as strongly. Any Love
works as a great summation of his work in the 80’s and should not be left out in discussions on his finest work.