My favorite albums: Inner City, ‘Paradise’

a/k/a The One Where One of the Fathers of Detroit Techno Makes the Perfect House Artist Album.

Kevin Saunderson, one of the famed Belleville Three, teamed up with vocalist Paris Grey in 1987 and formed house duo Inner City, who then made what might be the greatest artist album in house music history (apart from say, Masters at Work’s Nuyorican Soul, but that was nearly a various artists record; Inner City were a very self-contained unit). And Detroit house was different from Chicago house; this wasn’t as plush as a Frankie Knuckles production, but more angular, owing to Saunderson’s background. The keyboards are more staccato and urgent. But combined with the gorgeous, soaring vocals of Grey, they made magic. “Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin'” was a Chaka Khan cover. “Do You Love What You Feel” wasn’t. “Good Life” and “Big Fun” you (should) know, of course, and Saunderson’s techno side pokes through more on songs like “Set Your Body Free.” Sexy and sinuous, Paradise jams from start to absolute finish.

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About thomasinskeep

I write about music.
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