Entertainment Weekly - 6/24/94 - 7/1/94, p.102
7/1/94, p.102) - "...LaBelle's voice remains as hopefull as ever on these smooth ballads..." - Rating: B
Personnel: Patti LaBelle (vocals); Tim Pierce, James "Herb" Smith, Randy Bowland (guitar); Everette Harp, Pamela Williams (saxophone); Kenny Moore (piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Jimmy Wright (keyboards, percussion, background vocals); James R. "Budd" Ellison (keyboards); Charles Emory (keyboards, synthesizer); Larry Kimpel, Mark Haynes, Freddie Washington (bass); Rayford Griffin (drums); Raymond Earl (drums, programming); K.C. Porter, Jeff Taylor, Nathaniel "Crockett" Wilkie (programming); Karyn White, Lori Perry, Fred White, Lisa Dalbello, Ann Nesby, Libby Turner, Marie Graham, Valerie Davis, Rick Nelson, Dee Harvey, Eric Jordan, Charles Buie, Carolyn Perry, Sharon Perry, Valerie Doby, Letitia Body, Grady Harrell (background vocals).
Producers: Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Teddy Riley, K.C. Porter, Sami McKinney.
Engineers include: George Mayers, John Hanes, Steve Hodge.
Recorded at World Beat Recording Studio, Calabasas, California; Future Records Recording Studios, Virginia Beach, Virginia; Flyte Tyme Studios, Edina, Minnesota; Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, California.
Personnel: James Herb Smith , Randy Bowland, Tim Pierce (guitar); Jack Faith (strings, horns); Everette Harp, Pamela Williams (saxophone); Memphis (horns); Ken Moore (piano, organ); Charles C. Emory (keyboards, bass synthesizer); Jimmy Wright (keyboards, percussion, background vocals); James R. Budd Ellison, Jimmy Jam (keyboards); Raymond Earl (drums, programming); Ray Griffin (drums); Terry Lewis (percussion); Nathanial Wilkie (programming, keyboard programming); Jeff Taylor (drum programming); KC Porter (computer, background vocals); Carolyn Perry, Libby Turner, Fred White , D. Harvey, Valerie Doby, Grady Harrell, Rick Nelson, Letitia Body, Eric Jordan, Latitia Body, Marie Graham, Charles Buie, Karyn White, Lori Perry, Ann Nesby, Valerie Davis, Sharon Perry, Lisa Dal Bello (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: David Rideau; Brian Krueger; Al Digirolamo; Greg Laney; Andy Starr ; Al Dickerson; Jay Lean; KC Porter; Alex Reed ; Mike Tarsia; Bill Kennedy; John Hanes .
Recording information: Flyte Time Stud; Future Records Recording Studios, Virginia Beach, VA; Worldbeat Recording, Calabasas, CA.
Editors: Michael Aharon; Richard Kelly .
Photographers: Marc Raboy; Elliott Cutting.
Unknown Contributor Role: Bill Kennedy.
Arrangers: James R. Budd Ellison; Nathanial Wilkie; Lisa Dal Bello.
Patti LaBelle's ballad-heavy 1994 album, Gems, doesn't necessarily rank as one of the singer's crowning achievements, but as the title (and clich‚) implies, this set certainly offers more than a few gems to unearth. Gems also features a couple of prolific productions courtesy of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (on the set's up-tempo first single, "The Right Kinda Lover") and new jack swing maestro Teddy Riley (on LaBelle's mellow yet hypnotic cover of DeBarge's "All This Love"). The true standout, however, is "Stay in My Corner." That song, with its gospel undertones, features Labelle wailing as only she can, holding out her famous long notes and delivering a truly mesmerizing performance. The song is so good, in fact, that any self-respecting Labelle fan would have to own this set if only for that number. Other highlights include another gospel-infused tune, the ballad "If I Didn't Have You," the smooth "Time Will Tell," and the album finale, "Come as You Are." As a final note, this album also contains some truly stellar background vocals. ~ Jose F. Promis