A courageous though not particularly impressive comeback
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1988, Roberta Flack made a comeback after a long hiatus away from the recording studios with a new album of songs in the adult contemporary vein. Using a vast array of top session musicians whose names would easily fill a page and crowd out liner notes, "Oasis" was released to public indifference, even though the title track did hit #1 on the R & B charts. Significantly though not surprisingly, it didn't achieve the crossover success Roberta had hoped for in the pop market. By the late 80s, other 70s female black artistes like Diana Ross were also finding it difficult to stay relevant with a new generation of music fans, so she wasn't alone in her plight. Nevertheless, Roberta is to be commended for giving it her best shot with a new contemporary sound that was miles away from "I'm the One", her last solo album from 1982. Regardless of one's musical tastes or admiration for Roberta as virtuoso performer or adult contemporary (MOR) artiste, the best way to judge "Oasis" is in the context of its place as the predecessor and natural companion piece to "Set The Night To Music", released four years later. On that score, "Oasis" emerges head and shoulders above STNTM. The session musicians may have made the backing a little too anonymous for my liking but there is a seamlessness about the quality of the material and production values that gives the album a coherence totally absent from the later album. At least, they didn't try to mix in standards with the new songs and risk coming up with emotionally sterile performances of great classics. It's hard to pick highlights from an album like "Oasis" but the tracks that impressed me most were the title track, "All Caught Up In Love", "And So It Goes", "You Know What It's Like" and "(His Name) Brazil". "Shock To My System" is the one dud/filler that is unworthy of a talent like Roberta. The producers could have stuck just about anybody in front of the mike and it wouldn't have made a difference. The rest are mainly MOR ballads given the contemporary treatment. This is not Roberta's finest hour. Neither is it her worst. That dubious honour belongs to "Set The Night To Music". "Oasis" was Roberta trying to stay current and reaching out to a new audience in the late 1980s. Today, it would be of historical interest only to fans wanting to be acquainted with all the phases of her illustrious career and extensive discography."
More Engaging Then Usual
Andre' S Grindle | Bangor,ME. | 09/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Knowing Flack's penchant for ultra-smooth music "Oasis" features Roberta in a far more rhythmic,fusionary context on such
numbers as the tital cut and the highly memorable "You Know What
It's Like" and keeps it up for much of the rest of the record.
A pretty worthwhile proposition."
Her Best CD
MARC STEWART | NYC | 10/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"IF you don't own any Roberta Flack this is the one to get. I brought the CD and everyone I let hear it buys it.