STARPOINT: ‘Keep On It’ (Label: PTG Vinyl-Masterpiece)

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Hailing from deepest Maryland, the ’80s Stateside band Starpoint originally began life as an oddly-named quartet called Licyndiana comprising siblings Ernesto, George, Orlando, and Gregory Phillips. With the addition of sweet-voiced chanteuse, Renee Diggs (who sadly succumbed to a multiple sclerosis-related illness in 2005) the band changed its name to Starpoint and inked a deal with Casablanca’s Chocolate City imprint in 1980. ‘Keep On It’ was the combo’s second album – the first of two LPs they issued in 1981 – and features eight tracks. The funky title track, a US R&B Top 30 hit, is partly indebted to the raw funk of ’70s groups like the Ohio Players and Cameo but significantly also anticipates the sleeker, more polished, boogie-style grooves that characterised ’80s soul and dance. The latter qualities are evident on the gorgeous dancer, ‘I Want You Closer’ (a minor US chart entry in the summer of ’81) featuring Diggs’ beautifully lucid voice. The album’s opener, ‘I Just Want To Be Your Lover’ is cast in the same infectious, uptempo mould, while the engaging romantic ballads ‘For You,’ ‘We’re Into Love,’ and ‘Baby Let Me Do It’ showcase the group’s adroitness at handling slower tempi. I recall that some soul fans in the ’80s considered Starpoint a somewhat lightweight act – similar in style to Atlantic Starr – but this reissue shows that despite the surface frothiness they had more substance than many gave them credit for. This excellent CD is one of four old Starpoint albums reissued by the Dutch label, PSG. For more info go to
(CW) 4/5