DONNA SUMMER “Another Place and Time.” Atlantic ** 1/2 : POP STARS ***** Great Balls of Fire **** Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door *** Good Vibrations ** Maybe Baby * Ain’t That a Shame
Except for “If It Makes You Feel Good,” nothing on this album has the sexual tease and suggestiveness of Summer’s ‘70s disco hits. But many of the tracks definitely have the same thumping, throbbing, disco beat. Producers Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman--known for their dance hits with Samantha Fox and Bananarama--have given Summer songs to work with--like “This Time I Know It’s For Real” and the similar-sounding “I Don’t Want to Get Hurt"--that are appealing but don’t break new ground. This is by no means a terrible album, but, in light of the anti-disco remarks Summer has made in recent years, it feels like a step back for her. Her vocals are gorgeous and strong on “Love’s About to Change My Heart,” but there’s not one song on the album as adventurous or strong as her Brenda Russell-written “Dinner With Gershwin” single of last year.