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It Must Be Magic

Teena Marie

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Album Review

The last of Teena Marie's four albums for Motown, It Must Be Magic found the songstress continuing to do all of her own writing, producing, and arranging, with magnificent results. Irons in the Fire proved that she didn't need the input of a big-name producer in order to deliver first-class albums, and Marie provided additional evidence of that fact on an album that offered such gems as the playful "Square Biz" (one of her biggest hits, and an early example of an R&B artist incorporating rap), the thought-provoking "Revolution" (inspired by the assassination of John Lennon and filled with references to the Beatles), and the gritty title song. Marie has periodically shown a strong love of jazz, which is exactly what happens on the ballad "Yes Indeed" and the sexy "Portuguese Love." It Must Be Magic was Marie's highest-charting album in the pop market, and thanks to a largely black following, the gold-seller just missed topping the R&B charts. ~ Alex Henderson & William Ruhlmann, Rovi

Biography

Born: 05 March 1956 in Santa Monica, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

No white artist sang R&B more convincingly than Teena Marie, whose big, robust vocals were so black-sounding that when she was starting out, some listeners wondered if she was a light-skinned African-American. Marie grew up in west Los Angeles in a neighborhood that was nicknamed "Venice Harlem" because of its heavy black population. The singer/songwriter/producer was in her early twenties when, around 1977, she landed a job at Motown Records. It was at Motown that she met her mentor and paramour-to-be,...
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