Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Sananda Maitreya/Terence Trent D'Arby 

Terence Trent D'Arby's Wildcard!/ The Jokers' Edition (Compendia Music Group)

Eight years after his spotty last album, Vibrator, sank without a trace, Terence Trent D'Arby is back in full bloom. His 19-track Wildcard! is pretentious, ambitious, and overlong -- as are his other albums -- yet it's still largely engaging.

The link between Stevie Wonder and Prince, the extravagantly talented D'Arby (who morphed into Sananda Maitreya, much as Prince became the Artist and the Symbol) is a true soul singer. His voice is velvet and sandpaper, and his phrasing evokes everyone from Earth Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey to his root influence, Sam Cooke. At least half a dozen cuts stand out, such as the sultry single "Designated Fool" and the sexy "Suga Free." His lyrics span the grit of "The Inner Scream" to bathos and metaphorical stew of "Shalom" ("The well of loneliness is wet with tears" isn't exactly tight). Still, the album sounds good, and its prolixity is as much a gift as a drawback. Like Prince, D'Arby is a control freak who's hard to control; that, along with a long contractual dispute with Columbia, might explain his long absence from the scene. Wildcard! could have been edited better. Nevertheless, it proves that D'Arby, one of the best singers of the '80s, has gotten his groove back.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Carlo Wolff

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Kristina Kuzmic @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Sun., Oct. 24
  • Shannon & the Clams @ Grog Shop

    • Sun., Oct. 24
  • Celebration Day @ Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

    • Sun., Oct. 24

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation