Watley’s re-make of “Borderline,” one of Madonna’s first big hits, insinuated itself into my consciousness though it seemed a trifle the first time I heard it. But I kept coming back to her slowed-down, sultry take, until finally I just had to link it as a free download and let others decide whether it deserved a cover version.
Watley, you may recall, hit the scene with the 70’s disco trio Shalamar – remember “Second Time Around”? – and had a string of dance floor hits in the mid-80’s. She’s been quiet for the last few years. She had a minor hit last year, several re-mixes of her 1989 hit “Looking for a New Love,” but not much in the way of new material.
With “The Makeover,” the song selections are old, but she reinvents them quite nicely. Not an original trick, mind you, but given the state of R&B these days, Watley’s gorgeous, restrained phrasing on “Borderline” is a refreshing change.