Deborah Cox is back with her first new full studio album in six years, “The Promise,” and it’s the best full-length disc she’s put out to date.
No longer on her old Arista / J label, the Canadian songstress is now controlling the reigns of her own destiny – this is her first album with Deco Records, which, in fact, happens to be her own personal label that she launched with her husband earlier this year.
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Deborah hasn’t been idle, though – in the past years she’s started a family (she’s pregnant with her second child now, which she displays with pride in the “Beautiful U R” video), she’s become a staple on the dance music and club scene, and she received strong reviews for her 2003 stage turn in Broadway’s “Aida.”
The second single from “The Promise,” “Beautiful U R,” is taking off in Canada right now – it’s a female-empowerment anthem for the ages, and could take off in the U.S. too, if DJs and audiences start to catch on.
The rest of the album is equally strong. Standout tracks include the title track, written by John Legend (who plays keyboards on the track as well), and lead single, “Did You Ever Love Me.” She also collaborates with Janet Jackson’s longtime producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Deborah, of course, is best well known for holding the record for the longest-running number one single on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for 14 weeks in 1998 for her biggest hit ever, “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here.” She held that record until 2006.
The truth is, Deborah is every bit as talented of a vocalist as Whitney Houston (with whom she has dueted in the past; they were former Arista label-mates), just without quite the same flair for the dramatic in her personal life.
She’s also about as nice as they come in the music business. I’ve had the opportunity to meet her and interview her several times over the years, and more quality people don’t come around too often.
Here’s hoping that Deborah is met yet again by mainstream audiences with the success that she so richly deserves.
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