Album: Donna Summer, Crayons (RCA)

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The Independent Culture

Perhaps trying to re-establish herself as disco-diva icon, Donna Summer opens her first album of new material in 17 years with some fatuous, characterless dance cuts in which synth pads and bustling beats are busy while a vocoderised Donna offers tedious positive-thinking advice ("Stamp Your Feet") or, more embarrassingly, tells us "I got my iPod/ Shaking my body" ("Mr Music").

The infectious groove of "Crayons" lifts the mood, but the bogus pomp of "The Queen Is Back" and "Fame" piles the clichés higher. Things pick up with the Tropilectro samba "Drivin' Down Brazil" and the looped slide-guitar and harmonica blues of "Slide Over Backwards". Summer's late-arriving trump cards are "I'm a Fire" and "It's Only Love", two seven-minute chunks of the electropop motorik for which she's renowned. There are obvious hits here.

Pick of the album:'Drivin' Down Brazil', 'It's Only Love', ''I'm a Fire', 'Slide Over Backwards'