Tina B.

Tina B

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In 1984, disco was alive and well, although it was no longer going by that name. What people called disco in the late '70s had gone high-tech and changed its name to dance-pop, and the field was as competitive as ever -- so competitive that some talented people were bound to slip through the cracks. Tina B, for example, never became a huge name in dance-pop, although she showed some promise on this self-titled debut album from 1984. Produced by Arthur Baker and John Robie, this record is fairly consistent. Tina doesn't have a fantastic vocal range, but she has generally decent material to work with (some of which she co-wrote) and usually gets the job done. One of the things that separates this LP from other dance-pop releases of 1984 is the fact that Tina has one foot in the 1980s and the other in the 1960s. Many of the tunes are pure 1984; "Honey to a Bee" and the melancholy "Nothing's Gonna Come Easy" are early examples of Latin freestyle and should please anyone who has a taste for artists like Exposé, Nancy Martinez, and the Cover Girls. But on "Perception" and the Motown-flavored "Ooh Baby," Tina successfully fuses 1980s dance-pop with 1960s pop-soul. "Queen Beat," meanwhile, finds her tackling rap; she doesn't have the rhyming skills of Roxanne Shante or Pebblee-Poo, but the tune is still catchy. Unfortunately for Tina, this LP didn't take long to go out of print. But those who are able to track down a copy will find it to be a likable and diverse example of 1980s dance-pop.

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