A major change of direction for Natalie Cole
found the singer abandoning the type of R&B/pop she'd been recording since 1975 in favor of jazz-influenced pre-rock pop along the lines of Nat King Cole
's music. It was a surprising risk that paid off handsomely -- both commercially and artistically. Naysayers who thought that so radical a change would be commercial suicide were proven wrong when the outstanding Unforgettable
sold a shocking five million units. Quite clearly, this was an album Cole
was dying to make. Paying tribute to her late father on "Mona Lisa," "Nature Boy," "Route 66," and other gems that had been major hits for him in the 1940s and early '50s, the 41-year-old Cole
sounds more inspired than she had in well over a decade. On the title song, overdubbing was used to make it sound as though she were singing a duet with her father -- dishonest perhaps, but certainly enjoyable. Thankfully, standards and pre-rock pop turned out to be a primary direction for Cole
, who was a baby when the title song became a hit for her father in 1951.