Too Tough

Too Tough

Though Angela Bofill’s career was steeped in jazz, she took a sharp turn toward funk with 1983’s Too Tough. The bass-heavy title song proudly displayed the influence of Prince, whose brand of punchy postmodern funk was a surprisingly good fit for Bofill. At the same time, “Tonight I Give In” and “Accept Me” provided a human touch at a time when more and more female singers were being paired with overly mechanized productions. Though a duet with Boz Scaggs revived an iconic song by Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell, Bofill’s connection to Motown’s musicality is better witnessed on “I Can See It in Your Eyes,” which captures the billowy, cascading arrangements of old Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson productions. There’s nothing wrong with funk-pop tunes like “Love You Too Much” and “Is This a Dream,” both of which are as tasty as lollipops, but Bofill sounds most like herself on “Song for a Rainy Day,” which harks back to the lush, sparkling sounds of her first two albums.

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