Crayons (album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedMay 20, 2008 (2008-05-20)
(See release history)
ProducerNathan DiGesare, Toby Gad, Jamie Houston, Greg Kurstin, Lester Mendez, Sebastian Morton, J.R. Rotem
Donna Summer chronology
Singles from Crayons
  1. "I'm a Fire"
    Released: March 11, 2008
  2. "Stamp Your Feet"
    Released: April 15, 2008
  3. "It's Only Love"
    Released: August 5, 2008 (US)
  4. "Fame (The Game)"
    Released: November 19, 2008
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[2]
Boston HeraldB[5]
Canoe.ca3/5 stars[6]
Digital Spy2/5 stars[7]
The Guardian2/5 stars[8]
Slant3/5 stars[10]

Crayons is the seventeenth and final studio album by American singer Donna Summer. The album was released on May 20, 2008 through Sony Burgundy in the United States, it was her first album of original material since 1994's Christmas Spirit and 1991's Mistaken Identity. This was Donna's last album released before her death on May 17, 2012.


Recorded over a period of two years since signing with the Sony Music label's Burgundy Records label in 2006, Crayons marked Summer's first full-length studio album in fourteen years since 1994's Christmas Spirit, and her first album of original material since 1991's Mistaken Identity. She worked on the album with a number of different producers and songwriters including Greg Kurstin, Danielle Brisebois, J. R. Rotem, Wayne Hector, Toby Gad, Lester Mendez and Evan Bogart, the son of Summer's former record label boss at Casablanca Records, Neil Bogart.

The album debuted at number 17 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart, which was also its peak. Despite a high debut position, the disc fell off the chart in just five weeks. The title track, "Crayons", is a duet with reggae artist Ziggy Marley. The album's first official single, "Stamp Your Feet", was released to radio on April 15, 2008. A follow-up, "I'm a Fire", reached number-one on the Billboard dance/club chart, giving Summer her 13th number-one hit on that chart. Summer recorded four music videos: "Stamp Your Feet", "Mr. Music", "The Queen Is Back", and "Fame (The Game)".

When commenting on the album, Summer explained, "I wanted this album to have a lot of different directions on it," says Donna. "I did not want it to be any one baby. I just wanted it to be a sampler of flavors and influences from all over the world. There's a touch of this, a little smidgeon of that, a dash of something when you're cooking."

  • The lead track "Stamp Your Feet", written by Summer, Greg Kurstin, and Danielle Brisebois, was originally called, according to Summer, "The Player's Anthem". "It's the whole concept of being a player in life, coupled with the idea of being a player on an actual field, the whole thing, dealing with the pain and doing things even though you are afraid. Even though you're afraid of something and your knees are knocking, you get up and do it because a lot depends on it. Players get taken off to the sidelines and bandaged and thrown back in the game because it depends on them to win the game. We're all 'players.' It goes back to Shakespeare: 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.'"
  • About the song "Crayons", Summer said, "It encompasses a lot of what the album is about," she says. "Every song is a different color. Since I'm also a visual artist, that title ties a lot of the loose ends of my life together. The song wrote itself pretty quickly. Taking it to the next level, we influence each other in life. You may have an Arab friend or an Israeli friend or an Indian friend and so you go and eat a little Indian food (or have a little pita bread), or something you've never experienced, and as we immerse ourselves in each other's cultural experiences, it's like taking a crayon and coloring over the lines and the lines become blurred between what's that and what's the other. You take two colors and create other colors and you add a third color and there's another color too. That's how we are in life and that, to me, is a good indication for this album: feeling free to draw between the lines. Everybody gets crayons at some point in their lives, everybody can relate to the basics. It comes down to that child in us, I think there's a commonality in the concept of crayons."
  • On "The Queen Is Back", Summer discusses her musical legacy and public persona. "I'm making fun of myself," she said. "There's irony, it's poking fun at the idea of being called a queen. That's a title that has followed me, followed me, and followed me. We were sitting and writing and that title kept popping up in my mind and I'm thinking, 'Am I supposed to write this? Is this too arrogant to write?' But people call me 'the queen,' so I guess it's ok to refer to myself as what everybody else refers to me as. We started writing the song and thought it was kind of cute and funny."

Summer wrote "The Queen Is Back" and "Mr. Music" with Jonathan "J.R." Rotem and Evan Bogart, whose father, Casablanca Records boss Neil Bogart, died from cancer at the age of 39. He signed Summer to his Casablanca Records in 1975 and released some of her biggest albums and singles during the 1970s. "I adored him and would have given up everything for him to be alive," says Summer, remembering a time in the '70s "when the nail person didn't show up and Neil got on his knees and did my toenails. In many ways he was my mentor and I didn't get to say goodbye to him." When Summer met Evan Bogart, she was struck by his uncanny resemblance to his label executive father. "It's almost like they chiseled him out of his father," Summer observed. "I'm in the studio looking at him and I get tears in my eyes, he has no idea why. I just wanted to hug him because it's like I'm seeing someone I haven't seen since his father passed away. It's almost like Neil is looking at me through him. Evan and I hit it off immediately; there was a synergy that happened really quickly." "The Queen is Back" samples "Lose Control" by Kevin Federline. Both songs were produced by J. R. Rotem.

Track listing[edit]

1."Stamp Your Feet"Danielle Brisebois, Greg Kurstin, Donna SummerKurstin[11]3:52
2."Mr. Music"Evan Bogart, J. R. Rotem, Summer, Meredith WillsonRotem3:14
3."Crayons" (featuring Ziggy Marley)Brisebois, Kurstin, Marley, SummerKurstin3:21
4."The Queen Is Back"Bogart, Rotem, SummerRotem3:27
5."Fame (The Game)"Toby Gad, SummerGad4:03
6."Sand on My Feet"Gad, SummerGad3:51
7."Drivin' Down Brazil"Brisebois, Kurstin, SummerKurstin4:43
8."I'm a Fire"Al Kasha, Sebastian Arocha Morton, SummerMorton7:11
9."Slide Over Backwards"Nathan DiGesare, Jakob Petren, SummerDiGesare4:10
10."Science of Love"Gad, SummerGad3:48
11."Be Myself Again"Wayne Hector, Lester Mendez, SummerMendez4:19
12."Bring Down the Reign"Jamie Houston, Fred Kron, SummerHouston4:33

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[12] 77
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[13] 73
Italian Albums (FIMI)[14] 42
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[15] 97
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 85
UK Albums (OCC)[17] 142
US Billboard 200[18] 17

Release history[edit]

Region Date
United States May 20, 2008
Denmark May 26, 2008
Germany June 6, 2008
Australia June 7, 2008[19]
France June 9, 2008
Spain June 10, 2008
Brazil June 16, 2008
United Kingdom June 23, 2008
Japan June 25, 2008


  1. ^ Donna Summer - Crayons (2008) album reviews at Metacritic
  2. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Crayons > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  3. ^ Easlea, Daryl. "Crayons > Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  4. ^ Wood, Mikael. "Crayons > Review". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  5. ^ Katz, Larry. "Crayons > Review". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2011-09-24. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ Campbell, Stephane. "Crayons > Review". Retrieved 2011-09-24. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ Levine, Nick. "Crayons > Review". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  8. ^ Macpherson, Alex (2008-06-20). "Crayons > Review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  9. ^ Book, John. "Crayons > Review". Okayplayer. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  10. ^ Henderson, Eric. "Crayons > Review". Slant. Retrieved 2011-09-24. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  11. ^ "2000 and beyond". The Totally Unauthorized Donna Summer Tribute. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
  12. ^ " – Donna Summer – Crayons" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  13. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  14. ^ " – Donna Summer – Crayons". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  15. ^ " – Donna Summer – Crayons". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  16. ^ " – Donna Summer – Crayons". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  17. ^ "Donna Summer | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  18. ^ "Donna Summer Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  19. ^ Moran, Jonathon (May 25, 2008). Donna Summer's Back. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on May 25, 2008.