by Teena MarieTeena Marie


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Several overdue reissues and the archival First Class Love were released within a couple years of Teena Marie's passing. A bigger surprise came in January 2013, when UMe issued this, the artist's 14th and final studio album. Its recording had been completed prior to Lady T's death; proud daughter Alia Rose, a singer and MC who appeared on La Doña, Sapphire, and Congo Square, saw it through the mixing and mastering process. As Teena did on those fine 2000s albums, she weaves her exceptional songwriting skills with instrumentation that is both organic and synthetic, complementing her own playing and programming with input from several longtime instrumentalists. Likewise, she celebrates her inspirations in explicit and subtle fashions. The first song and lead single, "Luv Letter," pays tribute to her Motown roots and cleverly references her daughter's father with nods to "Please Mr. Postman" and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours." A Curtis Mayfield cover, "Give Me Your Love," one of two songs featuring Alia, glistens and most resembles the Barbara Mason version. Elsewhere, Teena quotes Barry White and the Stylistics, as well as herself, and even references A Tribe Called Quest. She does this while remaining utterly contemporary, as if modern R&B production moved her, as if revisiting her classic past sounds was never considered. There's a wide range of material, but the plush and yearning ballads -- "Love Starved," "The Long Play," "Carte Blanche," and the "Shadow Boxing"-alluding "Definition of Down" -- resonate the most. No other artist combined such strong streetwise attitude with disarming warmth. She did it from start to finish.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/15/2013
Label: Ume
UPC: 0602537061341
catalogNumber: 001698302

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Teena Marie   Primary Artist,Percussion,Keyboards
John Bokowski   Keyboards
Bridgette Bryant   Vocals
Ray Fuller   Guitar
Doug Grigsby   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards
Brian Kilgore   Percussion
Wali Ali   Guitar
Morris O'Connor   Guitar
Jeanette Harris   Horn,Brass,Woodwind
Verline Beard   Vocals
Tracy Hazzard   Vocals
David Starks   Guitar
Lee Cadena   Guest Appearance
Alia Rose   Vocals
Ty James   Guest Appearance
William Artope   Horn
Zipporah Garnett   Rap
Demetrice O'Neal   Vocals
Stan Davis   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Teena Marie   Arranger,Composer,Producer,drum programming
Curtis Mayfield   Composer
James Allen   Composer,drum programming
Greg Dalton   Composer
Doug Grigsby   Composer,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Erik Zobler   Engineer
Vartan   Art Direction
Bart Forbes   Paintings
Randee St. Nicholas   Cover Photo
Lee Cadena   Composer
Alia Rose   Composer,Liner Notes
Donnell Spencer   Composer
Monique McGuffin Newman   Producer
Zipporah Garnett   Composer
Darlene M. Ortiz   Composer
Daphne Wayans   Composer
Stan Davis   Producer,drum programming

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