Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio

  • Two Places at the Same Time [Arista, 1980] C+
  • A Woman Needs Love [Arista, 1981] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Two Places at the Same Time [Arista, 1980]
Leading off with one polite Chic rip and closing out with another, this well-named piece of product is the kind of hither-and-yon effort that signals commercial alarm. Sometimes fawningly pop, othertimes hyperbolically party-hearty, it scores in neither mode. And with this guy, scoring is all. C+

A Woman Needs Love [Arista, 1981]
Parker's mild-mannered description of what happens to those stingy with, er, respect--"You might come home early and get your feelings hurt"--typifies his understated autofunk. Playing guitar, synthesizer, piano, and drums as well as his home bass, which doesn't sound like a lead instrument either, he serves up eight tunes that bump and/or swoon into ear and/or ass with undeniable and virtually unrecallable effectiveness. I like every one, really. But don't ask me which is which--or why it matters. B+