Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1000


Home to the definitive destination for music downloads, writing, opinion, comment and club listings online...


RICK JAMES: Deeper Still

Deeper Still



Rate this Album

UK release date 12.07.2007

Whether you liked him or not (for me, it was the latter) James Johnson Jr. was one of black music’s most controversial figures during the 80s, playing a defining role in the progression of funk music, attaining cult status in 1981 with the release of his triple-platinum album ‘Street Songs,’ which spawned his biggest hit single ‘Super Freak.’ Drug offences, draft dodging, alleged sexual abuse, and ultimately imprisonment curtailed his career, and he’d been out of the limelight for so long that his untimely death in 2004 (as a result of ‘existing medical conditions’) caused minimal interest.

So, for a number of reasons, the idea of a new Rick James release excited me not one little bit, and I certainly wasn’t expecting his final piece of work to be anywhere near as good as this. Sure, there are a couple of quirky cuts that help to reinforce my doubts about him, but there are at least half a dozen that make this album seem like the work of a genius. I can’t forgive him for sounding like Meatloaf on ‘Maybe,’ but I do wonder at the polish he brings to the intricate ‘Guinnevere,’ a typical early 70s rock ballad that Yes or King Crimson might have tucked away on one of their albums. The rest is pure class though, particularly ‘Stop It,’ ‘Do You Wanna Play’ and ‘Secrets,’ and the autobiographical ‘Taste’ standing out as possibly his finest ever moment.

Hopefully, he’ll rest in peace now.
Words Steve Hobbs

Soul Fridays
Xtraordinary People

Featured Club

Body Music 1Body Music 2

BODY MUSIC @ Plan B, (monthly Saturdays, 9pm-5am) London

With a past guest line-up including such names as Quentin Harris, Kerri Chandler, DJ Spinna and Louis Benedetti, it’s clear that London’s Body Music crew have friends in high places, and don’t mess about when it comes to supplying

read more

Featured Club

Traks 1Traks 2

SATURDAYS @ Traks Complex, Soi (Every Saturday, 10pm-3am) Portrush

They say you can’t always get what you want. In clubbing circles, that’s not entirely true, as a visit to the sprawling Traks Complex in the pictureseque Northern Irish coastal town of Portrush will reveal.

read more