TINA B / Tina B (1984) MP3/Flac

Tina B (aka Tina Baker) was one of the early voices of the NYC 80s electro/hip-hop/freestyle movement. Tina is the voice on the 1982 electro classic "Jazzy Sensation" (which borrows its melody and chorus from Gwen McRae's 1981 funk classic "Funky Sensation"). That track was produced by 80s dance music pioneer Arthur Baker, Tina B's early musical mentor and husband. Mr. Baker and fellow dance music titan John Robie came together to produce, arrange and mix Tina B so it was fair to expect an explosive electro/freestyle/dance opus. First single "Honey To A Bee" certainly lived up to the hype. A slice of freestyle heaven, it is one of the alpha tracks of the genre. Pulsing synths, robotic percussion and some nifty vocoder effects all swirl around the sweet-voiced Baker's updated 60s girl-group harmonies. "Honey To A Bee" is the blueprint for almost every latin freestyle song that followed, pre-dating hits by the bigger names in the genre like Expose, The Cover Girls and Sa-Fire. Unfortunately, the remainder of Tina B does not follow the winning formula of the lead-off single. The only other straight-ahead dance tracks, "Perception" and "I Always Wanted To Be Free", aren't as streetwise as "Honey To A Bee." "Queen Beat" has a stomping 80s drum machine and features Tina rapping so slowly it sounds as if she were reading the lyric sheet. "Gotta Make This Love Last" is a pleasant synth-pop vocal duet with Pete Byrne of the British new wave group Naked Eyes. The other tracks on Tina B. are surprisingly and disappointingly bland. Even contributions from Hall & Oates and Webster Lewis don't ease the boredom.

Side 1
Honey To A Bee
Ooh Baby
Why Did You Do It
Gotta Make This Love Last
Queen Beat

Side 2
Nothing's Gonna Come Easy
Fool And His Money
I Always Wanted To Be Free