I remember buying this on LP many years ago in a clearance section of a local record store (when there was such a thing!) - I think it was £1.00 and I couldn't remember a thing about it, except the trashy artwork. I would love to ask Donna what she was thinking! I was lucky enough to get it on CD for under a tenner this week and it's not as bad as some reviews I'd read.
Firstly, the lead single Supernatural Love is fantastic! A fine example of 80's synth-pop with a great rock edge. I like the vocodered vocals as well as Donna's booming delivery. I think I detect a subtle Latin vibe in the mix too. Do check out the video too if you want a laugh, I thought it was a spoof to start with, especially when we get our first close up of Donna, I thought it was RuPaul! The second single, There Goes My Baby, is also pretty solid, its a cover of a song which was originally a hit for the Drifters. Donna's mid-80's update is quite lovely and very classy. The Latin-inspired dance workout I'm Free is pretty hot too, it has a great remix by Jellybean Benitez, which sadly came after the album was issued, or else I'm sure it would be the definitive version. It would've been great if Donna had done some freestyle tracks! I also like the ballad that closes the album Forgive Me, which won a GRAMMY. The second track, That's Not The Way is also one of the better songs.
The rest is mostly listenable, but hardly earth-shattering synth driven rock/pop. I think it'll be a grower, and it's certainly not bad, but the majority of these tracks are carried by Donna's stunning voice. The worst tracks are the title track, which is just ridiculous, and the meandering Maybe It's Over. The whole project was a huge flop pretty much everywhere, and it's not been im print for quite some time now, and along with The Wanderer, Donna Summer, All Systems Go, is getting quite scarce on CD now.
UK Chart Action: Cats Without Claws (LP) #69; Supernatural Love (Single) (Didn't Chart)
Video - Supernatural Love
Video - There Goes My Baby
Video - Jeremy's alternative review of Cats Without Claws (while you're there check out his other reviews)