Sunday, January 8, 2017

Keisha Jackson - Keisha Jackson (1989)

You want obscure? The debut album by Keisha Jackson is so forgotten that when I went to rip the CD, all the titles came up wrong. What came up were the titles of her second (and last) album. But this is her first. It's not in print and not available for streaming, but you can find used copies pretty cheaply. I found this for a buck at the local Salvation Army store.

Keisha Jackson is the daughter of Millie Jackson, a pioneering R&B/soul singer, who brought a sexual frankness to her music that was way ahead of its time. From what I can tell, this was the bigger of her two releases because it contained song that got to #39 on the R&B chart, "Hot Little Love Affair." Jackson never crossed over to the pop charts and made the Hot 100.

The main reason for that might be that the field was so crowded then with female artists doing variations of what Janet Jackson had done in 1986. This album falls squarely into that category, with arrangements and songs that sound like they take their cue from the Control album. What's missing, though, are the pop hooks from that album. The songs here are nice and they're well-sung. But they're not memorable enough to have been hits, at least not in 1989.

Still, if you like the sound of late '80s music, this album should be a treasure trove of nostalgia, since it's filled with synth and vocal samples, that classic Yamaha DX7 keyboard sound, plus old-style drum machines (I think I hear the Alesis HR-16). Heck, even the lyrical themes are straight out of the past. "Love Triangle?" How '80s! These days the song would probably extol the virtues of "polyamory."

Related posts:
Voggue - Voggue (1981)
The Superiors - Perfect Timing (1990)

Track list:
1. Hot Little Love Affair
2. Do Me Right
3. He's So Jealous
4. U Needa Lover
5. U.B.U.
6. Over You
7. Love Triangle
8. After All This Time
9. Lookin' Out For #1
10. Hit Me (With Your Love)

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