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Strip Tease

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Album Review

With sex being the topic 90 percent of the time, Lady Saw isn't the most versatile woman in dancehall and a better singles than album artist. Fortunately, the XXX Strip Tease sounds like a greatest-hits collection with only a couple moderate tracks. Nearly everything on the album finds Saw nasty as ever, taking unexpected, playful turns and adding more R&B to her sound. "Loser" is the straight-up dancehall stunner with Ce'Cile guesting. You'll need a note from your parents to listen to it, but "Pretty Pussy" is the album's most forceful track and the unquotable lyrics are exhilarating. The big singalong, party tune "I've Got Your Man" could dominate R&B radio if given half a chance, while the R. Kelly meets Mae West "Thug Loving" smoothly kicks off the album's fantastic pillow-talk wind down. All this horniness ends with the thoughtful "Dedicated to Mama," and if you're skeptical Lady Saw can touch the soul, know that her lack of candor is both in her sexual numbers and the ones from her heart. "Now I know/What it's like/Raising a family and being a wife," she sings, and admits she had no idea how hard the struggle must have been for her mother. It's a rare, vulnerable moment from the singer that almost doesn't fit with the rest of the hedonism. Luckily the softer fourth quarter of the album sets it up as well as you could and shows executive producers Christopher Chin and Lady Saw were taking great care constructing the album. If parental advisory stickers make you consider an album in the least, keep moving. For everyone else, Strip Tease is Saw's most thrilling album yet with a surprisingly sincere and moving closer.


Born: 1972 in St. Mary, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The First Lady of Dancehall, Lady Saw is a Jamaican bad girl with loads more attitude and sex appeal than hip-hop mistresses like Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown, plus one of the most distinguishing images in reggae. Born in 1972 in the small Jamaican village of St. Mary's, Marion Hall signed to the Jamaican grassroots label VP Records and debuted in 1994 with Lover Girl. Lady Saw soon proved she was up to the challenge of Jamaica's rudest boys by teaming up with Shabba Ranks on the single "Want It Tonight."...
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Strip Tease, Lady Saw
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