"In 1988 some raised a skeptical eyebrow to the debut album from Vanessa Williams...after all, at the time we knew her best for the Miss America scandal; how talented could she possibly be? Those who gave her the benefit of the doubt found themselves discovering a promising and noteworthy pop/soul singer of sweet soulfulness.The title track and the Patrice Rushen-penned "Be a Man" offer evidence that not all dance music is fluff, and "Am I Too Much" even dips a toe into Janet Jackson's funk/pop pool and finds that the water's just fine. But midtempo workouts like "If You Really Love Him" and "Security" are downright irresistible, and of course the ballads offer our first glimpse of the torchy, adult comtemporary singer Williams would eventually be reknowned for: particularly on Bill Withers' "Whatever Happens," the jazzy and soulful "Darlin I," and the now-classic single "Dreamin," Vanessa serves up a cool seduction that is as hard to resist now as when the songs were first released.
Granted, there are some time stamps to be stumbled over: the Taylor Dayne-flavored "I'll Be the One" is the blandest of 80's dance pop, and "He's Got the Look" even goes so far as to include the exclamation "Word!" in its chorus. But one listen to the confident vocal stylings heard on the mature and classy ballad "Can This Be Real" and it's clear that Vanessa's talent is one for the ages, and even the more timely production touches of the period weren't enough to hinder it. Vanessa Williams' debut proves beyond a doubt that she's got "The Right Stuff" indeed."
Scandal Can't Touch This Girl
Luis Hernandez | New York, New York, USA | 12/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During the 1980's, the name Vanessa Williams would be infamous with the scandal she saw when she was forced to resigned as Miss America 1984 due to the release of several nude photographs she took while a student at Syracuse University. However, at the beginning of the 1990's, that image would forever change as Ms. Williams became the most famous and successful winner in that pageant's history.Blessed with beauty, charm, and immense talent, Ms. Williams showed everyone that she was like the phoenix of mythology: rose out of the flames and into the air. "The Right Stuff" marked her first album as a new woman, and the results are incredible. Produced by her former husband/manager, Ramon Hervey, the "Right Stuff" gave Vanessa notoriety as a talented chanteuse.The album's title track, "The Right Stuff" is a hip, danceable song that will keep you on your toes. Other great songs on this album include one of my favorite ballads, "Dreamin'," a sweet, soulful song that captures the magic of her voice. "Darlin' I" also perfectly shows William' immense depth of vocal talent. The other songs on this album are great, and Ms. Williams has definitely earned the fame she much deserves. From starring in hit films such as "Eraser" and "Soul Food", hosting specials and programs on VH1, or just being the gifted diva she is, Ms. Williams is a portrait of success and grace. If you loved this album, I highly recommend her follow-up album, "The Comfort Zone" as well."
The Right Stuff
Luis Hernandez | 10/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Over ten years after it's release, The Right Stuff, by Vannessa Williams is still a gem. Many of the tunes still hold up today in an industry dominated by computer driven ditties. "Dreamin," "Be A Man," "I'll Be The One," "Darlin I," "Can This Be Real," and her first hit, "The Right Stuff," make this a steller debut from the former beauty queen. Though Vanessa's voice has matured over the years, you can still feel the power and confidence in her vocals back then. Check out the vocals on "Can This Be Real." Eleven years, and 10 Grammy nominations later, she is still going strong. Music, television, movies, and broadway--she's doing it all. Hopefully the next 10 years will be just as successful."
I'll be the one ---Still dancing to this and the right stuff
Seon Mcdonald | Brooklyn, NY | 04/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Man I love this album, I sure know how to get right down to it when the "I'll be the one" starts pumping up the bass on my system. Wow...Vanessa has a little madonna in her and a whole lot of class...The Right Stuff is for real the best stuff."
Strong first effort!
Preston | nc | 06/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I still have the album on vinyl. It took me a year to get that album, but I loved every song on it! Vanessa Williams made a very diverse kind of R&B album with shades of hip-hop beats within it. I still love the ultra funky "The Right Stuff" which still explodes with energy, especially on the breakdowns within it and the sinister grooves on the chorus! It is a dance floor classic! Lots of people say Dreamin' is the best ballad as well as Whatever Happens, but I'll give it to Darlin' I. That song has Vanessa's best vocal performance. It's classy and mature at the same time with the lead guitar and the horns playing on it. It might have set the tone to later ballad hits like the already classic Save The Best For Last, Just For Tonight and The Sweetest Days. Hard to believe that Vanessa's first husband, Ramon Hervey, produced some songs on this album. Some songs don't work for her, like Am I Too Much and the generic beats on Security. Those songs sound like Madonna dance pop rejects. Vanessa is one of the few artists with a debut album from 1988 that's still around today. She still acts, performs and records albums, even releasing a new one in early 2005. This 1st album really made me forget about her Miss America crown removal and made me accept her more as an enduring singer and artist."