Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Teena Marie: Starchild [Epic, 1984]
Ballads aren't Teena's problem--self-expression is. Marvin and Aretha are so abundantly endowed they can afford to meander occasionally, but neither would dare stretch "Out on a Limb" to 6:38. Better Teena should make like Maya Angelou and design her slow ones for the page. On the other hand, Teena's fast ones need no apology, which she may finally have learned doesn't mean they need no hooks. And when she's riding a hit she can take Marvin and Aretha to the bank. B