Thursday, January 16, 2014
Cameo - She’s Strange
Side one starts with the title track “She’s Strange”. A shortened version of the seven plus minute album track was released as the first single; it hit number 47 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 (for four weeks) on the US Billboard R&B chart. After an extended instrumental opening, the rapid-rap verse starts about a very alluring woman.
"Love You Anyway" shifts things down to a slow, jazzy groove.
The second single “Talkin’ Out the Side of Your Neck” reached number 21 on the US Billboard R&B chart. It makes a political commentary with a heavy, funky stomping rhythm.
“Tribute to Bob Marley” was the B-side to the first single. It fuses reggae and funk in a song to honor the Jamaican musician who passed away in 1981 and the legacy he left behind.
Side two begins with “Groove With You”. This one sticks with the standard R&B dance rhythm that was popular at the time.
Things slow down once more with the R&B ballad "Hangin' Downtown". It tells of a man who wanders the night with only his broken heart as company. The saxophone solo fits perfectly to the mood of this slow-jam. As the third single, it peaked at number 45 on the US Billboard R&B chart.
"Leve-Toi!" (French for "stand up") closes out the record on a high-energy, up-beat note.
I had not heard this album back in the day, but I definitely found it enjoyable. On She's Strange, the guys from Cameo stretch their sound to touch upon a variety of genres and do so successfully. I like that each song has a different vibe to it, keeping the record fresh and interesting from start to finish. This is one that is on my buy-soon list.
For 1982’s Alligator Woman, click here.
For 1983’s Style, click here.