Fire It Up

by: Rick James

Rick James's third album in 18 months may have spread the funk a little thin (or saturated the market), since Fire It Up was not as effective as his first two efforts. The usual mix of rock and R&B had some disco added, which dulled the music's edge and made it more formulaic. At the same time, James's single-entendre come ons, notably the album's biggest single, "Love Gun," were beginning to sound less provocative than just smutty. James had all the weapons for success in his arsenal, but he hadn't yet figured out a unified plan of attack, and Fire It Up was a holding action. ~ William Ruhlmann

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