5.20.2011

MUSIC REVIEW: "LA TOYA"

REVIEW "LA TOYA" 1988 TELDEC : ***

We start the albums review with the album "La Toya" released in 1988 (also know as "you're gonna get rocked" or the purple album). An album quite publicized through the first video clip, a new management and the new sexy agressive look for Toy (inspired by "Mad Max"?)...

On the cover we discover "La Toya 2.0" with her definitive image: she's no longer a shy little girl acting like a lady, she's a proud woman! On the picture she stands with a provocative attitude only wearing a metalic bra, we can see the perfect curves of her body (to me it's one of her best album cover) there's also a new powerful logo for her name (very elegant, it's the one I use on the blog).

It's her first disc to be signed in Europe at Teldec; moreover La Toya Jackson always had more success in northern Europe (Germany, Norway ...) and it's the beginning of her new villain manager Jack "Evil" Gordon: taking control (and a lot of problems to come for our poor little Toy).
The album had a worldwide release in all formats and is available in quite rare versions (the color of her name and the title changes from an edition to another).

Overall this is the album of modernity for La Toya (her "Control" or "Bad") she doesn't work with her father this time. By the way it's less "authentic": meaning less black music, less funky, less "summer vibrations" what was the charm of the first 4 albums.


The album is very dynamic, very up-tempo which is a good point, the album is great for aerobics (sport of the 80's). The production is quite concentrated: on one side you've got the new urban sound of La Toya, on the B-side you hear her new euro-pop songs.
The album is created to be listened as a vinyl or cassette, as a CD the difference between the 5 first songs and the 5 last may sound strange.
For the first time Toy Toy works with famous producers: Full Force: forward-thinking American producers of R'n'B (working with Britney later) and Stock Aitken & Waterman, the legendary producers of the 80's in England (Kylie, Rick Astley, Donna Summer).


With the first track "You're gonna get rocked" (the title track), Toy hits hard and create a legendary intro where she said basically "I'm back, respect me" (For those of you who didn't believe / Roll up your sleeves / And if you're hangin' (Cool!) /And if you're not (Just leave!) / Cause LaToya is throwin' down with her new sound (In full effect) / So gimme some respect (Or we'll put you in check) / Kick it off boys / It's time to get correct).
The song is great but not the most commercial, to me the absolute bomb is "Such a Wicked Love" (3rd place) which I think should have came out first (actually it came out just as a maxi club) to me it's the best title of the album: up tempo, creative, with a great chorus, it's almost Chaka Khan.

The second song is "You Blew" which is nice, in the same lineage, but a little overproduced so it would have been better at the end of the album or as the single version (that came out) ... Somewhat "You blew" is in the style of "Nasty" by Janet.

After it follows with a very respectable ballad : "Not Giving Up On Love" Toy did a demonstration where her voice is full of nuances!


Here is a mid-tempo track: "If I Could Get To You," a duet with an unknown singer, enjoyable, it's "unpretentious" and it's typically a Toy Toy sound.

On the B-side, one of my favorites is "Turn on the radio", a huge blow to the heart, very catchy, full of fantasies and the music fits perfectly the high-pitched voice of La Toya, plus the lyrics are incredible "waking Up With A Plastic Dreams in my head " We're also gratifies by a man's voice in vocoder and the voice of Toy scratched. In two words: it's great!

UFO's from the album is "Just say no" a cheesy song written for an anti-drug campaign supported by the then U.S. President ...
Well ... At the same time, as it sound like the generic of a Manga it's a pretty cool song, and all my friends loves this one! ... "Just say Yes"!

Then it continues with "Does it really matter" rather insignificant song but not unpleasant that just deserves to be in the same style as the rest of the album... I guess that song is just too long but musically it's good.

Then we finished with "Tell Me She Means Nothing to you" and "Ain't nobody loves you" two Stock Aitken & Waterman' songs that are not really worth one after another.
Too bad because "Ain't nobody loves you" (released as a single with a video) is a really good song that has everything to hang, it puts you in a good mood, I confess that I do not understand why it's at the end of the album .
It's a pop clean sound, well produced; somehow this type of euro-pop does not age too much!


In fact the whole album was built in a very square geometry (German!) so that the titles are similar and do not put each others in values, in my opinion it would have been wiser to make a melting pot of all the songs which would have given a more interesting tracklisting.

Anyway if you love the pop music of the 80's, the Jackson family: it is a good opportunity to begin to discover La Toya!


Another subject: I just discovered that Sherman Records that own the rights of the album "bad girl" since 20 years and still sell the album under various names (and awful covers) also have the rights of an unknow live cd and the "Nashville" album; so I was thinking with that we could make a FIRST "best-of" for the 30 years of singing by La Toya. Anyone want to produce that?

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