Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Jody Watley

  • Jody Watley [MCA, 1987] C+
  • Larger Than Life [MCA, 1989] B-
  • You Wanna Dance With Me? [MCA, 1989] B-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Jody Watley [MCA, 1987]
Though Bernard Edwards has his name on three cuts out of nine, including the definitively cock-crazy "Love Injection," you know why former Prince lackey Andre Cymone wanted sole production credit. This is his revenge--a made-to-order dance-rock sex object with better credentials than Sheila E. herself. I have nothing against women pretending they want to go to bed with me. But I found it easier to pretend I wanted to go to bed with the disgruntled former Shalamar associate when she played the flirt. C+

Larger Than Life [MCA, 1989]
Having cornered a new-artist Grammy by narrowcasting her lust for lust, the young black-pop veteran comes up against the perils of upward mobility abuse--once you get hooked, you'll go to any length to keep rising to the top. Yet whatever she's like in "real" life, Jody's more credible servicing pop normals than disco nightcrawlers--demanding "Real Love," hanging onto her "L-O-V-E-R," dissing false "Friends" with a name rapper, etc. And for the first time, Andre Cymone's own grooves sound more original than his Prince imitations. B-

You Wanna Dance With Me? [MCA, 1989]
An abstraction to begin with and a ripoff to boot, this woman suits her remix compilation. But it's still an abstraction. And a ripoff. B-