Teena Returns To The 'Square' Biz [Spin Me Right 'Round Week]

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Uh oh. Looks like the influx of babies will be tripling come next year thanks to Teena Marie's newest entry, Congo Square being added to the pile of romancin' music for this 2009. With sultry soul/R&B artists such as Maxwell and Sade making returns this year, it seems that it would only be fair for Teena Marie to get in on the action. Especially since she is one of the leading founders of procreating tunes (trace back to 1982 with "Portuguese Love"). So be forewarned when prepping your summer playlist, as Teena Marie's Square will get you some "biz", if you're not careful! On Congo Square, Teena takes a more relaxing approach, much more dabbling in contemporary jazz and soul mixtures. As this is the Queen of Ivory Soul's 13th album, this isn't anything she hasn't covered before. Still what works on Square, more so than her more recent releases (like 2004's La Dona which was a little rocky) , is that she is consistent in style and manages to give us something quite elegant. Refined like aged wine. Possibly since this is the singer's first entry on the Stax label, Teena keeps it in the fashion of the legendary label and that proves to be a smart decision. The title track, which is wonderfully produced by George Duke, embodies spirit and lush grooves, as does "Harlem Blues" which slinks into a sultry crevasse. "Baby I Love You" effectively blends in a contemporary R&B sound with smooth jazz, and it's one of the many standout cuts on here. Teena also has some on point complimenting guest stars to this collection, such as Faith Evans, Shirley Murdock and MC Lyte, but its her impeccable duet with Howard Hewitt that takes the cake. Their track, "Lover's Lane" harkens back a 70's love groove, and its welcomed. And if their duet didn't get you in the mood, Teena's touching, "Marry Me" is sure to seal the deal. A pure and sincere affair resides on Congo Square, as the album feels like a modernized execution of her early Motown years. As Teena extends her career to thirty years, it is evident that Lady Tee hasn't lost her sophisticated touch and will continue to keep the soul alive.

Rating: 9.5/10
Release Date: June 9, 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment

Before you comment remember...
1. Don't be rude!
2. Stay on topic of the post. If you don't stay on topic, either state "off-topic" or your comment will be deleted.
3. If you want to ask an off-topic question and don't see the proper post for it, please e-mail me about it.
4. Don't spam or promote your blog or service. Please e-mail me if you'd like an add to my blog list or need for me to update your blog's URL. If your blog is similar in subject to mine, you will be added to the list.
5. If you have any technical problems with the blog, please e-mail me.

When in doubt, e-mail me at jennifer@audiodivablog.com

Thank you :)