Mini Curry

100%

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Detroit-born soul vocalist Mini Curry is unmistakably a talented, wide-ranging vocalist. Sadly, the thin production values and lack of song structure on 100% do nothing to support her, and result in an album that is only about 40% satisfactory. The set's lone U.S.-released single, "I Think I'm Over You," truly is a gem, and stands far above the remaining content. Over a sax-y, late-night R&B/smooth jazz groove, Curry wraps a blues-tinged, restrained yet dramatic vocal around sassy melodies and lyrics she co-wrote with Vernon Fails and producer Michael J. Powell. The song was released on Total Experience and reached the Top 30 of the R&B singles charts in the summer of '87. Cleverly conveying her successful struggle to surmount the wounds left by a heartless lover, the song is a much stronger claim of "girl power" than later efforts of '90s hip-hop/R&B girl groups. That being the case, one wonders what went wrong in the formation of substandard selections like the over-produced "I Like It" and repetitious "Serious." The arrangements here leave absolutely nothing to the imagination, and sound like knockoffs of throwaway Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis productions. Even on the ballads "If They Only Knew" and "Have We Lost," there is a certain continuity and solidity missing. Curry sings with all her passion, but the wavering instrumentation and melodies are nonetheless distracting. Other than on "I Think I'm Over You," only on the introspective "Doll in the Window" does she truly get a chance to shine.

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