Monday, December 27, 2010


Arguably the best album that Teen Marie did for Motown – and a tasty batch of modern soul tracks that proves to the world that she was a great soul artist in her own right, and not just someone signed to the label in a fit of nepotism. Includes the stellar "Portuguese Love", plus "Yes Indeed", "Where's California", "Opus III", and "Ballad Of Cradle Rob & Me". This expanded CD also includes 2 live tracks recorded in Long Beach – versions of "Deja Vu" and "Someday We'll All Be Free" – plus the bonus track "Square Biz", done in an instrumental version. All written & produced by Teena, too!

One of the greatest female soul albums of the end of the 70s – and the bold-voiced debut of the lovely Teena Marie! Even on this first album, Teena's got a depth that goes way beyond most of her contemporaries – a brashness that hits hard on the funkier cuts on the record, but also a soft smoothness that picks up cues from Minnie Riperton, and helps take that sound well into the 80s on a gentle groove. Rick James is firmly in control of the overall picture here, but what's really amazing is that the album echoes with a soulfulness that goes way beyond James' own party funk records of the era – a mature sensibility that marks out a space for Lady T right from the outset, and which marks her as a force to be reckoned with in soul music, even at the tender young age of 23! The record features 2 of Teena's greatest tracks – "I'm A Sucker For Your Love" and "De Ja Vu" – plus the titles "Turnin Me On", "Don't Look Back", and "I'm Gonna Have My Cake".

A stunning solo effort – Teena's second on Epic, and proof that she could still put out the goods on her own. Teena wrote, arranged, and produced the whole thing – and tracks include "Light", "Jammin", "Out On A Limb", "Alibi", "Youngblood", "Lovergirl", and "My Dear Mr. Gaye".

A great little album from Teena – one that's dedicated to the late Minnie Riperton (who'd passed during the previous year), and which is produced by Riperton's husband and collaborator Richard Rudolph. Teena's got more than a few of Minnie's tricks up her sleeve on the best cuts, singing in a smooth sweet soulful style that makes for some of her best vocals on record at the time. Titles include "Aladdin's Lamp", "Now That I Have You", "Can It Be Love", "Too Many Colors", and "Young Girl In Love".

Teena's first album after a protracted legal battle with Motown. Truthfully we dig the best of her Motown years, though this is a solid enough album of 80s pop and mainstream R&B. With "Robbery", "Playboy", "Ask Your Momma" and "Cassanova Brown".


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