Album: Teena Marie, Congo Square, (Stax)

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The Independent Culture

A debut on the great soul label for the veteran all-rounder.

The voice and writing ain't much; her talent really lies in the fields of playing, arranging and producing: she'd be flattered, no doubt, to be taken for a female Prince.

The music is ultra-competent electro soul-funk of the kind that sounds good in a low-riding Benz. Mannered sensuality abounds, as does a very specific – Teena-esque? – kind of histrionic emotionalism. Guests include George Duke, Faith Evans and MC Lyte. Any old-school soul boys out there?