Ann Peebles

Tellin' It

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AllMusic Review by

Ann Peebles was at the height of her fame in 1975 when she cut the album Tellin' It -- she had scored her biggest chart hit the year before with "I Can't Stand the Rain," and Tellin' It reflected the kind of hard-edged but soulful groove that had taken Peebles to the upper reaches of the charts (and was producer Willie Mitchell's stock in trade). The album's opening cut, "Come to Mama," even features the same sort of fractured rhythmic undercurrent that had hooked "I Can't Stand the Rain," but Peebles and Mitchell had the good sense not to deliver ten remakes of her hit; instead, Tellin' It merges polished production with tough, sinewy grooves (the strings on "Stand By Woman" and "It Was Jealousy" add a touch of class, but don't clutter up the funk of Howard Grimes' superb drumming and the punch of the Memphis Horns), and Peebles here reaffirms her status as one of the best female voices in R&B, cutting to the heart and soul of each lyric whether she's looking for a new man ("Doctor Love Power") or breaking up someone's previously happy home ("Stand By Woman"). And while the disco explosion would make soul sets like this obsolete in a few years, Tellin' It features plenty of cuts that can fill the dancefloor without robbing Peebles of her soulful passion and sassy spirit. Fine stuff.

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