Ike Turner

Risin’ With The Blues | Zoha
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  November 7, 2006
1.5 1.5 Stars
As much as I enjoy hearing Ike Turner’s gritty voice sing “You’re like Kentucky Fried Chicken, woman/You’re finger-lickin’ good” on the new “Tease Me,” this album is still a disappointing follow-up to his 2001 comeback, Here and Now (Ikon). Sure, that Handy-winning, Grammy-nominated album also mixed up classics from Turner’s Mississippi Delta birthplace with new material, but this time, the now-75-year-old Ike seems to have lost some of his vigor; there are just too many bland shuffles and recycled funk arrangements. “Gimme Back My Wig,” “Caledonia,” and “Big Fat Mama” are all tired choices; “I Don’t Want Nobody” has a cheesy programmed rhythm track that’s right out of the back pages of ’80s soul blues. More hard-ass boogie-woogie piano would serve him well; his best playing here is on the instrumentals. The keyboard work on the classic “After Hours” is parked right in the barrelhouse, and he plays a clean, pretty guitar melody over the pedantic accompaniment of “Jazzy Fuzzy.” There’s conviction in his vocal delivery of “I Don’t Want Nobody,” a song that distances him from his controlling past, and also in the sassy but touching “Jesus Loves Me,” where his admission that “I made a lot of mistakes” is paired with his belief that “I’m a bad boy, but Jesus loves me anyway.” Add in his stingy guitar solo and Turner shows he’s got enough power, faith, and personality to transcend obstacles like the tune’s generic 12-bar shuffle form.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Ike Turner, Ike Turner
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