Gino Vannelli's musical creativity reached a high point in 1977 with the release of his fifth album "A Pauper In Paradise". Like his previous album, "Gist of The Gemini", "Pauper.." is high on dynamic musical arrangements and showcases Vannelli's vocals at their very best.
Romantic progressive pop with layered piano and synthesizer atop outrageously pretentious lyrics about love and war. Those who can get past lines like "A post-war eunuch/A lover that is lame" will find some relaxed, smoky melodies here, especially the closer "Summers of My Life." "Fly into This Night" was a minor FM hit that lands a hefty keyboard punch courtesy of his brother, Joe Vannelli. Instrumentally, this is perhaps Vannelli's best effort. The lyrics are quite amusing, though that might not have been his intention.
Gino Vannelli is one of the few artists to effortlessly navigate between pop and R&B. With the songs "Walking," "The Surest Things Can Change," and his 1978 classic "I Just Wanna Stop," Vannelli's work is always filled with both skill and passion. After six successful years at A&M he signed with Arista in 1981. Nightwalker is his label debut. During the three years between albums, not only did pop music come into vogue again, but he grew as a writer and singer. This album reflects the change. The dramatic title track has him singing overripe lyrics like "I can't live in this world without love, without you." The powerful "Put the Weight on My Shoulders" has him doing some good vocal riffs. Although most of his albums took a tumble when he decided to pick the pace, Nightwalker is actually better for its faster tracks. "Stay With Me" has him singing the horrible come on, "The only crime I see/is killing time with me." The searing guitars and Vannelli's sense of fun makes up for it. The album's biggest hit, "Living Inside Myself," with its haunting electric piano and Vannelli's phrasing, is compelling drama yet not overdone. The last track is another expert ballad.