Inside My Love
(UK Expansion CD, 2008)
1) Losing My Mind 2) Why Do I Feel So Sad 3) All I Need Is You
4) Say You Really Love Me 5) Sailing 6) Not Around 7) Inside My Love
8) All Night Long 9) Remember Me 10) Love You So Much
Almost a decade of perseverance, and finally this set sees its first official release
in its entirety. Bootlegs had been doing the rounds, and the odd track featuring
on a few compilations via Jazz FM, and David Nathan’s recent “Dedicated To Soul”,
but here it is in all its glory. I am very impressed with it, and far more
impressed with this than her “Same Girl” release for Motown back in 2004.
This is far more linear as a listening journey, albeit a bit of a variation on a theme,
yet the standard of all the crucial elements – song writing, musicianship and
vocals – are of a very high standard.
So-So Def label owner Jermaine Dupri is not one who I would usually sing the
praises of, BUT credit where credit is due, he gave this Lady the scope she needed
to deliver a strong real soul album at a time in the late 90s where most others
would not have bothered. The same can be said of the likes of Jay-Z at
Def Jam and the Williams Brothers at Cash Money who have definitely taken a
shining to Teena Marie! Jermaine has technically overseen this, but has allowed
the likes of Jamey Jaz and Rahsaan Patterson to take the reins and do
what they do best.
The result is a gentle mix of warm, satisfying rootsy soul music with its feet firmly
in the traditional female songstress. No prizes for who produced the entrée cut,
“Losing My Mind” or its running mate “Why Do I Feel So Sad”. These ooze Jaz / Patterson
and are typical of the classier material they had been working on in the late 90s.
“All I Need Is You” is a classic (dare I say it) Ol’ Skool female soul ballad
showcasing better than ever Motown ever did, how fantastic this singer really is.
This is big budget, full-cylindered real soul.
I fell in love instantly with the summery “Say You Really Love Me” which sounds to me
like a warm mid-70s Isleys ballad complete with acoustic touches
(think “Brown Eyed Girl” or “Summer’s Eve”) with the vocal temptation of Karyn White.
Pure class. Next up is another warm Isley-ish CLASSIC, “Sailing”.
This, most readers will already own, or will at least have heard of. The melody, keys
and arrangement is almost verging on late 70s / early 80s soul. A wonderful,
“Not Around” with its bassline, crashing drums and slap bass really takes us back
to the good times, and is a song you won’t want to be without. I thought I’d be
perturbed by the cover of the Holy of Holies in Leon Ware’s catalogue of
song, “Inside My Love”, but this is more than ably dealt with.
Such a tremendous, sexy song needs treating with the utmost care. Job done.
“All Night Long” is a powerful effort with some beautiful backing and female harmonies.
Real soul, folks! You can’t beat it! Check the muted trumpet! Yummy!
The busiest track, if you can call it that, is the programmed “Remember Me” which
is almost a Babyface type of groove – and a good one at that.
The Rhodes are excellent on this.