In my informal survey of slow jams, I estimate that roughly 40% of these songs center on infidelity. Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” comes to mind as a breezy celebration of the forbidden act, while Luther Ingram’s “If Loving You is Wrong (I Don’t Wanna Be Right)” considers the moral consequences a bit more seriously. Even Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover” sounds fraught with the risk of being found out.
Which leads us to “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr. The duet, sung by David Lewis and Barbara Weathers, recognizes the sinfulness of this cuckoldry while sounding entirely effervescent. In this live recording, Weathers entreats her audience before the band launches into an amped-up version of the song: “San Bernardino, can we talk?” Go ahead, Barbara – we’ll listen. Typical mid-’80s production values are in full effect here, from the flowing, shimmering stage costumes to the all-electronic octagonal drum kit. (Atlantic Starr plays at the President Casino Theater, 1000 North Leonor K Sullivan Blvd., on Saturday night, September 6, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.)
-- Christian Schaeffer