August 23, 1980
Johnson, who scored his biggest hit with "Bluer Than Blue" two years ago, is back with "You Can Call Me Blue" making him the chief purveyor of "blue" material since fellow pop balladeer Bobby Vinton scored back-to-back hits in 1963 with "Blue On Blue" and "Blue Velvet." The predominant mood of the album is soft, even sublime, but there are a few spicy rhythm numbers tossed in: "You, You, You", "Right Through The Heart" and "Staying With It". Johnson should be boosted, most of all, by the current popularity of passive adult contemporary material in a day in which both disco and new wave are being eschewed by mass audience radio.
Best cuts: those cited plus "You Can Call Me Blue", "After You".
Michael Johnson has one of the easiest, mellowest styles in MOR pop today. His voice has a warmly plaintive quality that perfectly suits the highly romantic "Don't Ask Why", the title song, and the moving "Empty Hearts". (On the last, by the way, he plays some very fine classical guitar.) Johnson is the first male singer in a long time who not only has the nerve to come on as an unabashed romantic but who also has the talent and charm to pull it off.