Natalie Cole I'm Ready
Nathaniel Marsaleno McGhee | Cleveland, Ohio United States | 06/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the most underrated of all the Natalie Cole Albums even by the Musical Icon herself.Natalie Cole's 1983 Album I'm Ready is a very important Album,because it bridged the gap between her R&B releases and the Pop-Rock releases that would dominate her career during the second-half of the 1980's.With Too Much Mister,I Won't Deny You,I'm Ready,Keep It On The Outside,Time(Heals All Wounds),(I'm Coming)Straight From The Heart,Where's Your Angel?,I'm Your Mirror,Winner(Take All),Azz Iz,Movin' On,and How Can You Stop? is definitely a must have Album."
Not Ready At All, but Still A Solid Effort
S. Sarabia | Portland, ME, USA | 07/31/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album is so interesting in where Natalie Cole was picked up by Epic/CBS (and she blew it), but even more interesting is the title. Originally, this album was to be entitled, "Movin' On," which I think would have been so much more convincing than the misleading "I'm Ready." She was ready alright. Ready for rehab (and she succeeded, thank God.) A voice like this is so timeless. On this album, most likely due to the drugs, her voice seems to be in a huskier, lower register, but she still sounds sexy. The first single, "Too Much Mister," stalled out at #45 R&B. It seemed to try too hard to emulate that Natalie Cole "hit" sound a la "This Will Be." For 1983, that sound was a thing of the distant past. The closest two then "current" moments here are the corny and over the top, "Time (Heals All Wounds") and the AWESOME "Azz Izz," which wasn't even on the original vinyl. Thankfully, it was one that was added to the CD release. It's sooooo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and had Miss Natalie ever gotten with Flyte Tyme, can u just imagine how many hits she might have had throughout the rest of the 80's/early 90's? Another awesome moment here is with the song, "Movin' On." Never has she been so "badass" as she is in this song! The rest consists of some really nice slow jams and should NOT have been the sales tragedy it was. It's a really excellent album if you can just get past the couple of minor duds here. Another couple of little tidbit for ya too...Natalie was in negotiations with Teena Marie to serve as producer for either another album or for some songs had she (Natalie)not been dropped by the label. Fortunately, she made that long hard climb back to the top via a third drop from the next label (Atlantic) to finally be picked (back) up by Capitol's (her original label's) subsidiary, EMI/Manhattan where she scored BIG TIME once again. Check this album out. It's TIGHT and it's a hundred times better than its pitiful followup, "Dangerous.""
Sunny Maudlin | 01/19/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"'I'm Ready' was probably the low-point in Natalie Cole's career; even Cole admits this in "Angel on My Shoulder," her autobiography. The album barely charted, and produced only one charting R&B single. Cole's personal problems during the time probably didn't help the album either. Despite this, I can't help but enjoy some of the stuff on this near-forgotten release.
The album starts off with "Too Much Mister." The song isn't much, but is catchy nonetheless. The other single, "Keep It On The Outside" is a standard R&B ballad with a pretty sax part. My favourite on the album is the danceable "Time (Heals All Wounds)." I like the computerized-sounding bass and Quincy Jones-like arrangement of the horns. "Where's Your Angel?" is again lightweight but pleasing, as is the sunny "I Won't Deny You." The title track reminds me a bit of Deniece Williams' "It's Gonna Take a Miracle" (which is a good thing), while "(I'm Coming) Straight From the Heart" is too boring for my taste.
In 1992, Legacy reissued "I'm Ready" and threw in some bonus tracks apparently intended for the album. My favourites are the first two selections, "Winner (Take All)" and "Azz Iz." I like the post-disco feel to both, as well as the cute vocoder on "Azz Iz."
As much as I enjoy "I'm Ready," I don't think that much of Natalie Cole's jazz-loving fan base will care for this too much. It's a long ways away from the sophisticated "Unforgettable" and the like, and doesn't seem as strong as most of her Pop material either. However, for admirers of Nataile Cole's Pop material and early 80's R&B, this may be an enjoyable if not thrilling listen."