Sounds You’ve Heard Before

Patti Austin made a name for herself in the ’80s with a handful of romantic pop hits. Chances are, if you grew up in the ’80s and watched daytime television during the ’90s, you’ve seen her breakout hit with James Ingram, “Come to Me,” featured on a plethora of soap operas and commercials.

Undeniably talented, her voice is booming and soothing at the same time.

Although she may have slipped through the cracks a bit over the past 20 years, without a single on the charts since 1994, she’s still as every bit talented as she was before.

Her new album, “Sound Advice” shows off her gospel, jazz and pop roots through covers of everything from ’90s pop to the Rolling Stones. Nonetheless, while Austin does a “sound” job making these songs her own, this album only proves that she should write her own work. Because in the end, while the production values are there, none of these covers are as good as the originals.

So while the music is genuinely enjoyable, it’s more of a reminder that Austin can sing, rather than a statement that she’s back and capable of becoming better than ever.

Channeling everyone from Desiree and Al Green to Tina Turner and Billie Holiday on this CD, Austin proves she is capable of singing almost anything. At times, she’s funky, at others fresh, Austin is even able to throw in a few love songs on the CD for good times sake.

However, again, while there isn’t a terrible song on this track, it feels all for naught.

As good as her voice is, does anyone really want to hear covers of songs by Desiree and The Stones?

Even though fans of Austin’s work will enjoy every second of this album, but by the end of it all, you won’t be converted to her camp if you weren’t there before. The fact that she’s still “got it” only goes to prove that she needs an original album with new material.

As it stands, “Sound Advice” is fun, but is more a gimmick than a work of art.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 13063 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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