Stephanie Mills: Home (1989)


By Scott Goldfine

It’s sometimes hard to believe that this incredibly inspirational and ethereal voice comes booming out of such a slightly framed chanteuse. Stephanie Mills is of that rare breed of vocalist who, through tremendous conviction and powerful pipes, transcends any material to make it her own. But, as gifted a singer as Ms. Mills is, she has only been able to attract scant crossover action. Regardless, she has developed quite a loyal allegiance since making the leap from stage (Dorothy in “The Wiz”) to recording artist several years back.

Furthermore, Mills and MCA seem content with the slot she has etched for herself and do not pander to a pop audience. Consequently, her releases ― which are virtually always guaranteed of top-10 action on the R&B charts — maintain a high degree of soulful integrity. Home, named after the song of the same name from “The Wiz” and dedicated to its composer Charlie Small and Mills’ former producer Ken Harper, both recently deceased, is no exception.

Mills has assembled some of the top names in black music ― including Angela Winbush, Gene Griffin and Teddy Riley, Gerald Levert, Take 6 and Alton “Wokie” Stewart — on this disc, which is divided into “Lovin’” and “Partyin’” sides. The first, or “Lovin’,” side proves once and for all that ballads are this vocalist’s bread and butter. From the opening strains of her current single, the mid-tempo love testimonial “Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel),” through her invigorating rendition of the title track, to the last gospel-inflected wail of “Comfort of a Man,” Mills enraptures the listener with sheer vocal power and beauty.

Whoever said “Wonderful things come in small packages” must have had this delightful and dainty diva in mind.


Home GET NOW (Amazon)

Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.