Val Young: ‘Seduction’ (Label: PTG Records, Vinyl Masterpiece )

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Val Young: 'Seduction'

Detroit singer, Valerie Young, started her musical career as a member of The Brides Of Funkenstein – a P-Funk spin-off act conceived by George Clinton – who scored a big US R&B smash in 1978 for Atlantic with ‘Disco To Go.’ When the group’s commercial fortunes waned in the 1980s, Young hooked up with rising funk-punk Rick James and got a solo deal at Motown. What resulted was ‘Seduction,’ a 9-track set helmed by James in 1985, who was intent on promoting his bottle-dyed blonde protégé as a black Marilyn Monroe. Young’s striking looks certainly got her noticed and undoubtedly aided the success of her LP, which made a big noise in the R&B charts. Admittedly, 23 years down the line, Val Young’s solitary Motown LP has lost some of its seductive sheen – a profusion of raspy, metallic synthesizers and leaden, ‘Beverley Hills Cop’-style, drum machines means the overall sound has dated badly. However, ‘Seduction’s’ redeeming features are Young’s lissom voice – which some hip-hop fans may recognise from 2pac’s ‘To Live & Die In LA’ – and some catchy James’-penned tunes like the excellent title track and ‘Mind Games.’ Well worth a revisit.
(CW) 3/5