Terri Gonzalez

Is There Rockin' in This House

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Singer/songwriter Terri Gonzalez had already been behind a number of prominent dance records in the late '70s and early '80s before her debut album finally rolled around. Co-penning the Inner Life disco classic "Caught Up (In a One Night Love Affair)," as well as backing acts like Chic and Chaka Khan, she also released a handful of independent singles that generated club play and moderate radio action. Is There Rockin' in This House aptly demonstrates her wide-spanning vocal range and aptitude for injecting distinctive personality into each song. The album's first side is a full-speed-ahead party set, seamlessly blending together the aching melodies and new wave-inspired synths of "Love Promises" (penned by Gonzalez) with the fervent kinetics of "In a Big Way." Sublime and intrinsic, the second side keeps the beat going, but has more of a ballad feel. A couple of tunes -- namely "When All the Kids Start Dancing" and "Cover to Cover" -- suffer from weak melodic structures; but on the whole, these are not major distractions from the core of Rockin'. Cuts such as "A Boy Like You" and "Let Me Be (A Part of Your Life)" are unique in their blurring of lines between hook-smart pop and gutsy R&B arrangements -- the former delivered by Gonzalez in a sultry, coy manner, the latter showing a deeper, bolder side of her abilities. Notably, Gonzalez co-wrote both tunes and also played keyboards on them. Much to the loss of '80s radio listeners, Atlantic failed to promote the album to any real degree -- making it a lost treasure worth a place in the collection of any '80s dance-pop and dance-influenced R&B fans.

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