Cold Blooded (Ltd) (Rmst) (Jpn)


aec.unij0578324.2 11/26/13 New

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    Cold Blooded (Ltd) (Rmst) (Jpn) Universal

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Review Text It isn't hard to understand why Cold Blooded received so many lukewarm reviews when it came out in 1983; by that time, Rick James was being increasingly formulaic and predictable. Instead of taking a hint from Prince -- who maintained a risk-taking, adventurous spirit throughout the '80s, even if it meant stumbling on rare occasions -- James was content to recycle 1981's Street Songs over and over. That said, Cold Blooded definitely has its moments. Parts of this LP are forgettable, including the hit title song (which, like 1984's "17," was criticized for sounding so contrived). But some of the tracks are worthwhile, especially "P.I.M.P. the S.I.M.P." -- a compelling piece of social commentary that describes the way a ruthless street pimp preys on young women. The tune isn't an indictment of prostitution in general; if anything, "P.I.M.P. the S.I.M.P." makes a case for legalizing the world's oldest profession because legal brothels (like the ones in Nevada and Holland) usually aren't run by the sort of vicious individuals that James' tunes describes. And "P.I.M.P. the S.I.M.P." not only sheds light on a social problem that Lois Lee's Children of the Night organization had been addressing, it also gives James a chance to feature old-school rapper Grandmaster Flash, whose sociopolitical recordings of 1982 and 1983 influenced everyone from Public Enemy to Ice-T. Other worthwhile songs on Cold Blooded range from the soul ballad "Ebony Eyes" (an unlikely yet successful duet with Smokey Robinson) to "New York Town" (James' lively ode to the Big Apple). Cold Blooded is far from a total meltdown; although uneven and less than essential, the LP has more pluses than minuses. Nonetheless, James was capable of so much more in 1983. ~ Alex Henderson

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