At 18 tracks, this is a lot of Aldo Nova, especially since Nova is pretty much the province of early-'80s hard rock fetishists. Still, there's a reason why Nova has fans, and it's because his music was trippier and stranger than that of his peers, whether it was Billy Squier or Accept. As such, it has dated a little bit, but in a good way, since this has more character than a lot of early-'80s arena metal. That doesn't mean that this will satisfy listeners just looking for "Fantasy," but for those who like to dig a little deeper into this era, this is definitely worth a spin.
Come a Little Closer is a surprisingly effective mating of a distinctive singer with seemingly incongruous material and production. Helmed by Gabriel Mekler, who'd produced Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night, the record features Etta James supported by a slew of hotshot L.A. session men (including Little Feat's Lowell George). The song selection ranges from "St. Louis Blues" to Randy Newman's perverse "Let's Burn Down the Cornfield" to the dramatic, melismatic "Feeling Uneasy," in which the junk-hungry James improvised wordlessly over an otherwise blues progression. Here's more evidence that Etta is one of the most versatile vocalists of her era.