On 1991's The Other Side, Ruby Turner works with two different producing/songwriting teams. One is Cecil and Linda Womack (Bobby Womack's relatives), and the other is the team of Hula & K. Fingers. Regrettably, neither team was able to give the under-exposed Turner the big North American hit she needed -- in the United States, this CD was a commercial disappointment and was totally ignored by urban radio. The Other Side, in fact, received even less U.S. attention than her previous album, Paradise. However, The Other Side isn't a bad album. Although slightly uneven, the disc is decent more often than not. The more memorable tracks range from the seductive "Provoking (Love Strokin')" and the melancholy "Merry Go Round" (both Womack & Womack offerings) to the sleek "A Little Bit More," which Turner co-wrote with Hula & K. Fingers and which has a Soul II Soul-ish appeal. Like Soul II Soul leader Jazzie B., Hula & K. Fingers obviously have a healthy appreciation of Chic and know how to put a high-tech, hip-hop-influenced spin on the influential Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards sound -- there are traces of Chic on "Thinking About Your Love" as well as "A Little Bit More" and "Put Your Trust in Me." The catchy title song even samples Chic's 1979 hit "I Want Your Love." Back in the late '70s and early '80s, many rock critics wrongly dismissed Chic as a pedestrian, run-of-the-mill disco act and didn't give Rodgers and Edwards nearly enough credit, but Hula & K. Fingers -- much like Jazzie B. -- are a perfect example of how influential Chic continued to be long after the '70s ended. The Other Side contains a few weak, forgettable tracks, but all things considered, it isn't a bad album to have in your collection.
The Other Side Review
by Alex Henderson