Erratic City


When you are the high priestess of the culturally conflicted and survived an affair with Rick James (who pops up on the tepid “I Got You”), you’re allowed, on select occasions, to coast on legacy. Teena Marie’s first CD since climbing into bed (business-wise, one prays) with the Cash Money clique is such an occasion. While La Dona‘s got real moments of delicious, slyly sexy womanly wantonness (e.g., the heavy-breathing, slow-moving “I’m Still in Love”), the collection’s way erratic, and even for a singer celebrated for her excessiveness, loaded with nearly as much net as three-point jumpers. The former would include the jazzy liteness of “High Yellow Girl,” the ghetto lounge-scat fest “Black Rain,” and “The Mackin’ Game,” which is frighteningly dated (an MC Lyte cameo?) and thugged out. Groan-inducing, wanna-be-down tidbits like these suggest a napping A&R guy who figured, “What the hell, it’s Lady T; maybe she has another It Must Be Magic in her.” Maybe she does. But not even the salty sweetness of “Makavelli Never Lied” is an excuse for a goddess old enough to be yo mama (yours, not mine) ever to kick things off with faux Mafia posturing.