Vibe - 8/97, p.146
"...With FLAME, her latest album, Patti offers mostly huge, dramatic ballads....This project shows Patti's maturation in the pop genre-a more natural, more equitable marriage between them and us..."
Personnel includes: Patti LaBelle (vocals); Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis (various instruments); Ira Siegel, Aaron McClain (acoustic guitar); Mike Scott, Michael Thompson (guitar); Regina Carter (violin); Najee (saxophone); Corey Williams (piano); Patrick Henderson (organ); Steve Skinner (keyboards, synthesizer); Edwin "Tony" Nicholas (keyboards, programming); Big Jim Wright (keyboards, background vocals); David Foster (keyboards); Brian "Rio" Lewis (bass); Cindy Blackmond (drums); Richard Rodriguez (percussion); Gerald LeVert, Alex Richbourg, Gen Rubin (programming); Ann Nesby, Jamecia Bennett, Sherena Wynn, Lisa Fisher, Jerry Barnes, Katreese Barnes, Terry Steele, Lori Perry (background vocals).
Producers include: Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Edwin "Tony" Nicholas, David Foster, Arif Mardin.
Engineers include: Steve Hodge, Steve Croom, Arthur J. Stoppe.
FLAME was nominated for a 1988 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. "When You Talk About Love" was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
Personnel: Patti LaBelle (vocals, background vocals); Sherena Wynn (vocals, background vocals); James Herb Smith , Michael Thompson , Mike Scott (guitar); Ira Siegel (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Aaron McClain (acoustic guitar); Sophie Labiner (harp); Bonnie Ayers, Larry Abramovitz, Jean Perrault, Christine Reeves, Helen Wedgen, Olga Lonolpelsky, Regina Carter , Emma Kummrow, Charles Parker (violin); Ruth Wright, Nina Cottman (viola); Marc Ward, Patricia Daniels (cello); Eboni, Orest Markiah, Melvin Roundtree, Nina Wilkenson, Tanya Murphy, Anthony Pirollo, Jennifer Morgo, Richard Hotchkiss, Kathleen Thomas, Richard Jones , John Blake (strings); Najee (saxophone); Corey Williams (piano); Rev. Patrick Henderson (organ); Steve Skinner, Robbie Kondor (keyboards, synthesizer); Lamb Chops, Malcolm Allison (keyboards, programming); Edwin Nicholas (keyboards, keyboard programming); Jim Wright (keyboards, background vocals); Nathanial Wilkie, David Foster (keyboards); Cindy Blackman, Gearard Barnes, Rodney Green (drums); Richard Rodriguez , Joe Mardin (percussion); Alexander Richbourg (programming); Gerald Levert (keyboard programming); Gen Rubin (drum programming); Curtis King, Cherrelle Norton, Sami McKinney, Sisaundra Myers, Jamecia Bennett, Jerry Barnes, Katreese Barnes, Kevin Ford, Lisa Fischer, Lori Perry, Ann Nesby (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Christian ?; Michael O'Reilly; Mick Guzauski; Mike Tarsia; Ron A. Shaffer; Steve Hodge.
Recording information: 785, New York, NY; Chartmaker, Los Angeles, CA; Flyte Tyme studios, Edina, MN; On The Way Studios, Cleveland, OH; PAZ East Studios, Philadelphia, PA; Right Track Recording, New York, NY; Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, PA.
Photographer: Albert Sanchez.
Arrangers: Edwin Nicholas; Gerald Levert; James R. Budd Ellison; Dennis Williams; Jimmy Jam; Arif Mardin; Steve Skinner; Tim Lewis ; David Foster.
The original R&B diva is back, and she's pulled out all the stops on FLAME. LaBelle's sinuous, melismatic vocals are supported by a bevy of session hotshots as well as guest artists like Najee, Ann Nesby and Regina Carter. Uberproducers Arif Mardin, David Foster, Gerald Levert and Jam & Lewis contribute grand, lush arrangements, creating a rich bed of sound for the voice that's launched a thousand imitators.
Despite the occasional uptempo foray, FLAME is dominated by gently grooving midtempo tracks that allow LaBelle to work her sultry magic, cooing and growling her way through some state-of-the-art R&B. While there are no major departures from the sound that we've come to identify with LaBelle, FLAME serves as a gentle reminder that she's still a force to be reckoned with.