Ike & Tina Turner

So Fine

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    7
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In the late '60s, Ike & Tina Turner were churning out such a rapid succession of albums on various labels that it's hard even for dedicated fans to keep them straight. So Fine is typical of these LPs in that a certain minimum satisfying level of quality soul is guaranteed by virtue of the duo's talents. But at the same time, there's also the sense that they're grinding out recordings too quickly to consistently present the outstanding original material and interpretations of which they were capable at their best. Tina's vocals are reliably passionate, but the songs and arrangements are fairly average, at times even generic soul, mixing a few Ike Turner originals (including a remake of their early hit "A Fool in Love") with covers of well-known staples like "Shake a Tail Feather" and "So Fine." (Speaking of which, it was surely careless to cover "So Fine" and, just two tracks later, add a cover of the entirely different song "You're so Fine," which in this context sounded downright redundant.) The best cut here is "It Sho Ain't Me," which has a more slow-burning bluesy feel (and Stax-y feel, with its horn, organ, and churchy backup vocals) than much of its surroundings, but nothing here ranks among the pair's best work.

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