Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Sheila E. - The Glamorous Life (1985)

Fetish funk from Prince's breathless ingenue solo princess Sheila E. 1985's The Glamourous Life is a tad uneven but not a moment of it is hesitant or unsure of itself, the music grinds away regardless. As much funk as the junk in Beyonce's spanx, but guess who has the better thighs.

Festive gush-fest Belle of St. Mark is a jittery sprinkle of tireless emotions: effortlessly giddy with just a glint of shyness if even. The fizz comes from E's too-many-e's style of overflowing desperation and the sound of spurting synths giving you a pearl necklace whether you wanted one or not - a full facial of vintage Prince production par excellence. When Shortberry Strawcake eventually feels like it will serve a decent vocal-melody it just doesn't - Sheila must have went to the toilet or something for this one as she is nowhere to be heard. A trifle wanting.

The seductive Noon Rendezvous has more buzz than using two vibrators (not that I would have the room), and She-She's a shivering wreck with various horny 'bodily functions' slowing her down no end (hasn't she heard of douching?). And does she really sing "I want to be topped by you"? - I must take a note of that for my own use sometime.

Functioning funk of Oliver's House isn't quite at full-capacity. 'She got drunk and called me a "bitch" just cause I kissed her man' is worth a million shortberry's and a reminder of Prince's welcome humour. Something in the bedroom does not compute on Next Time Wipe the Lipstick off Your Collar, sounding like a bad, unfinished Meatloaf B-side.

The famous title track, The Glamorous Life, is a lustrous jam full of kink and neck-snapping aspirations, even if with the 'without love it ain't much fun' message is a tad contrite. 'Boys with small .... talk, really don't impress me in bed' is obviously censored, and makes me actually re-think what I might have expected from the 5ft-nothing Prince - he does have a nice ass I'll give him that. As Carol Channing might say, truth be told I always preferred the Melissa TkautzSheila E, version - it might have came second but is the better ride.

Prince puts his spunk in her funk, and what we get is sheer performance where Sheila is almost the guest on her own album, but we knew what to expect. Her highlights are dazzling, danceably romantic and yes glamorous. The junk is still airtight with scintilating synths and a guitar feeling never short of violating.



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