Taking the drama of a love triangle to logical extremes, Millie Jackson's Caught Up turns the pitfalls of tainted love into the basis for a concept album (the seeds for soul music's explicit treatment of the topic having been planted by James Carr's "Dark End of the Street"). While the "other woman's" view is taken up initially on cuts like the R&B hit "If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Want to Be Right," the wife's plight is covered on the second half of the disc with revealing titles like "It's All Over but the Shouting." Jackson also delivers some of her patented racy commentary on the appropriately named "The Rap," while showing equal vigor in the album's wealth of fine vocal performances, including an impressive cover of Bobby Womack's "I'm Through Trying to Prove My Love to You." Caught Up's standout track, though, is the version of Bobby Goldsboro's "Summer" that closes the record. Seemingly out of sync with the overriding concept, the song touches upon a girl's loss of innocence to an older man. One soon realizes, though, that beyond sexual awakening, Jackson is really emphasizing the point of no return: After the epiphany, one is sent hurdling toward the power struggles and politics of adult relations, including, potentially, the moral crossroads of infidelity. Luckily, as soon as your mind overloads from pop semiotics, the in-the-pocket grooves supplied by the Muscle Shoals Swampers provides the needed salve. Jackson shows both brains and soul on this fine release, creating what might be the only concept album one can dance and drink to.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook