This sums up Deeper Still, a gentle collection of Latin-kissed R&B that leans too heavily on drum machines and romantic cliché -- the same issues plaguing James' later records. Yet James' croon is in full blossom, especially on a cover of David Crosby's "Guinnevere." The autobiographical "Taste" even makes me wonder whether this intended double album, shortened by his death, could have been a sadder and wiser Street Songs, James' 1981 funk masterpiece. Probably not -- but the best of this disc proves that Rick James was no joke, bitch.
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