Thursday, 19 February 2009

Terry Dexter - Listen

This album is a little different and is an excellent showcase for Terry's more than able vocal chords. No crass, programmed R&B bluntz here, just good old fashioned no-nonsense real music with real lyrics and what I call drive. Terry's vocals are focussed and in her voice you can hear class and that special strand of excellence that you only hear in the best of vocalists. Easily comparable to the likes of Patti LaBelle, Tamia - before she was hijacked by the homeboys and lost her individuality- or even newcomer Latoya London, what Terry has done is pitch herself to a more rootsy, uptempo and feel-good soul vibe that the likes of Raphael Saadiq would appreciate. Plenty of real instruments and gutsy performances at that, “Listen” begs you do just that. There's nothing ephemeral or throwaway on here. In fact, cuts such as “Beautiful One” is wide enough in scope to have very broad appeal – if only, that is, the media hadn't put all their eggs in the rap / R&B basket. Cuts such as “Crazy”, which opens the set, has real punch and the lyrical contact is also hard-hitting and socially orientated. The funky 70s groove is strong and Terry suits this righteous flavour like a glove “I'm Free” is a shade poppy – not a bad thing – and the acoustic flavour works nicely and should still appeal to younger R&B fans. The southern kick of “Love Is Love” will have wide appeal and the slight bubbly 80s appeal of “Be With Me” is one that I can really feel. Check that voice. Very tasty indeed! The title song, acoustic and warm works extremely well and is one of my favourites on here. I can imagine the likes of Stephanie Mills doing this sort of material. Another winner is the superb “Stay In My Corner”. Smooth as silk, Terry pitches her voice just right over a lilting ballad with Hammond organ and crashing cymbals. This is a great, great song and is powerful. Artists like this wipe the floor with these snooty, media-hyped and overexposed so-called “Divas” - a horrendously misused and erroneously bandied term these days. We all who who I'm talking about. Should any further example be required then the gorgeous Babyface-ish version of Perri's “No Place To Go” from their 1988 album, “The Flight”. Sounding every bit as Aretha on “Peace Within”, Terry blows the house down, let alone drops the final curtain on the CD. Terry has developed very nicely since her 1999 Warner Brothers d├ębut, and her progress is very promising. Watch this beautiful Lady just grow and grow.

Barry Towler

Buy CD on Amazon