Obviously Williams knows where her greatest success lies — her romantic ballads. She even re-teams with her “Save the Best for Last” composer, Phil Galdston, on “I Fell In,” which lacks the memorable lyrics of their first hit collaboration. “Breathless” remains the most-likely candidate for scoring another hit single, mainly due to her passionate vocals. Nods to her jazz leanings include covers of “Come on Strong” and “Lazy Afternoon,” as well as duets with Javier Colon on the sexy “October Sky,” which nicely combines jazz and R&B to produce a pretty slow jam.
The Real Thing encompasses a heartfelt collection of songs close to Williams' heart, as she explains in the CD liner notes. While the album could benefit from more variations in tempo and mood, it demonstrates Williams' growth as a singer and chanteuse. Overall, The Real Thing creates the perfect mood for lazy summer nights.
For more information on Vanessa Williams, visit her official site, Concord Music Group artist page, and MySpace Music page. Videos for “Breathless,” “Just Friends,” and “Close to You” are available on YouTube.