Picks and Pans Review: Naked to the World

updated 05/09/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/09/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Teena Marie

That some interesting ideas on this record seem half finished may be due to the fact that TM spent so much time writing her jacket copy. Her dedications and thank yous alone—including one to "Toni Greene—my good friend (thanks for always laying my hair out)"—must have taken two weeks. In any case, the promising image of the title song deteriorates into "I'm wishing on a star to follow where you are/ And to shine, like you shined when your love was mine." The provocative, if evanescent, language of Surrealistic Pillow never gets past "You know that your feathers tickle-hurt my skin/ You know I'm the brown sugar covered with snow/ And magnetism's animal, you know." What's left is a group of routine disco-funk tunes—Teena co-wrote two and did eight on her own—that the record's producer (yes, that's TM too) allowed its star to perform in a squeaky chirp. She shows there's more to her voice than that on The Once and Future Dream, and duet vocals by Teena's old mentor, Rick James, help make that track and Call Me (I Got Yo Number) the most interesting on the album. That's not saying a whole lot, though. (Epic)

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