Mistaken Identity

In a year in which dance music has been marked by grand, sometimes operatic vocals, it’s no wonder that quintessential disco queen Donna Summer has come back to reclaim her turf with Mistaken Identity. Don’t expect the brilliance of her mid- to late-’70s classics ”Love to Love You Baby,” ”I Feel Love,” or ”Bad Girls,” done in cahoots with writing-producing powerhouses Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. But don’t worry, either: Mistaken Identity doesn’t include any crusading born-again numbers, like 1980’s The Wanderer. This time, Summer seems to be trying to mesh her brand of disco drama with a ’90s club sound. Often the tracks suffer from an unoriginal, bland treatment, but Mistaken Identity does contain some gems. On the lushly orchestrated first single, ”When Love Cries,” Summer’s fiery vocals sizzle over a seductive, down-tempo club beat; in the exuberant ”Fred Astaire,” Summer turns from a soft, purring siren into a full-blown diva, building in fervor as she did on her 1978 hit ”Last Dance.” Just goes to show that classic formulas are never outdated — and that Summer, after deviating from her ’70s disco style, can return and still rule the dance floor. B+

Mistaken Identity
  • Music