Sunday, January 22, 2006

What I'm listening to this week.

Still Bad
Denise LaSalle
The Malaco Music Group

I haven't listened to this CD for quite a while, but it has been in steady rotation in my car player for a couple of weeks now. The following is a review I wrote about this collection for the Caldonia web page in 1995 - it still accurately reflects my opinion, so here it is again.

This CD is a big hit in my neighborhood right now. I brought it home just in time for our annual Blues & Barbecue party. After a couple of million drinks, we put this CD on the box and had a ball dancing in the living room until the wee wee hours. Now I've got to make tapes of "Still Bad" for everyone...

Nobody does the in your face, nasty, soul/blues woman show better than Denise LaSalle. Born in Leflore County, Mississippi in 1939, Denise is a well respected song writer and singer. She specializes in clever, humorous tunes about the battle of the sexes. In fact, Barbara Mandrell's hit, "Married, But Not To each Other," was written by her.

An R & B singer for most of her career, Denise La Salle has successfully concentrated on the soul/blues genre since signing with Malaco Records in the early 1980's. She is supported on this recording by the crack Malaco studio staff. Many of the cuts utilize a full horn section, backup vocalists, and an actual string section (!). The production is very good; funky and not too slick.

Five of the songs here were written by LaSalle. My favorites are "The Sweeter The Man," a bittersweet ballad about lost love, and "Risky Business," a tune about the dangers of messin' around with sex in the '90s.

There's a whole mess of great tunes here by the Malaco songwriting staff. In "Three People" Denise wonders who her man is thinking about during sex (“Three people in my bed/me, my man, and the woman in his head..."). And by the way, why should men always get it for free, she wonders in "1-900-Get-Some," a great tune about phone sex. The real rocker on this set is "It Ain't Over Until The Fat Lady Sings," a tribute to female orgasms ("It ain't over 'til you make my bell ring/it ain't over 'till the fat lady sings!"). I'll bet Denise tears up the concert crowds with this one!

A terrific set, great production and songwriting, and a sense of humor throughout. Highly recommended.

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