Spin Me Right 'Round: 'The Heat' Is On

Friday, November 21, 2008

With Labelle making a strong comeback this year, there was a need to unearth some vinyl classics from the most eccentric member of the legendary 70's funk outfit. The Labelle member I'm referring to is Nona Hendryx whom ever since her 1977 solo debut, has always brought something new to the table. Taking on a blend of rock, pop, funk and soul, Nona managed to craft some unique albums and singles during her solo years. She is one hell of a songwriter (just look at the Labelle catalog) and I've always enjoyed the fun, smart and sometimes cynical lyrics she pours out.
On 1985's The Heat, the singer lays out the same passion but ups the anty with her fourth effort. The synths are more strident and the guitar a bit more uninhibited than on the singer's previous effort, 1984's The Art of Defense. The wild tribal stomp of "Revolutionary Dance" opens the album up in glorious fashion and the album takes off with great force. Songs like "A Girl Like That" and the title track "The Heat Pt. 1" just drive on through like a hammer to a nail. Nona knows how to simmer things down with some torch power ballads as she comes off as part Tina Turner and The Pointer Sisters on "I Need Love". Even the best track, "If Looks Could Kill (D.O.A.)" possesses a sultry yet strong persona, plus the sax solos are something to dig on this track. While this isn't Nona's best effort as the album loses steam towards the end. Still is one firecracker jolt of funk n' rock with Nona's vocals in top form. Oh, yeah, this packs some serious "heat"!

Rating: 8.8/10

*Revolutionary Dance*

*A Girl Like That*

*If Looks Could Kill (D.O.A.)*

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