Terry Ellis – Southern Gal (1995)

terry_ellis_-_southern_gal_cover

Terry Lynn Ellis (born September 5, 196 is an American singer–songwriter and actress. Ellis is best known as a founding member of the R&B/Pop vocal group En Vogue.
Southern Gal is the debut album by American singer-songwriter Terry Ellis, it was released on November 14, 1995 by EastWest Records.
The album was released during the time En Vogue were on a hiatus. The album includes the R&B Top 40 hit singles, “Where Ever You Are” and “What Did I Do To You?”
As a member of En Vogue, Terry Ellis was one of the few bright spots on an R&B landscape hopelessly glutted with formulaic, syrupy schmaltz. A creation of songwriter/producers Thomas McElroy and Denzil Foster, En Vogue were as prefabricated as the next guys and gals, but once the package came together, boy did they kick ass. Alive with the spirit of hip-hop, and informed by the classic soul and funk of Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, and George Clinton–as opposed to the elevator music most current R&B aspires to–the female quartet easily stood out as one of the sassiest and most soulful crossovers since Labelle.
Looking to quadruple the singers’ output (as well as their profits), McElroy and Foster separated En Vogue into four solo acts–a liquidation that can only be cause for celebration given the prospect of four different follow-ups to En Vogue’s 1992 classic, Funky Divas. Unfortunately, Ellis’s Southern Gal–the first of the quartet’s lone shots–doesn’t quite live up to En Vogue’s legacy. Though it starts promisingly enough with “She’s a Lady,” a Southern-fried, violin-streaked, bouncing bass-lined sisterhood anthem, Southern Gal quickly descends into slow-tempo slush and sappy cliches (“It Ain’t Over,” “Where Ever You Are”) that make the songs indistinguishable from each other and from the countless other R&B ballads littering urban radio. The second half offers a bunch of fine moments, however: “Slow Dance”‘s flute hook, “You Make Me High”‘s gospel-funk chorus, and Ellis’s cover of Enchantment’s soul-soaked “It’s You That I Need.” But despite these high points, Southern Gal never recaptures Ellis’s Texas homegirl vibe, much less her funky divahood.

Tracklist

  1. “She’s a Lady”  (Terry Ellis, Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy)  (4:03)
  2. “It Ain’t Over”  (Ellis, Foster, McElroy)  (5:08)
  3. “Where Ever You Are”  (Foster, McElroy)  (4:58)
  4. “I Don’t Want to Wait Till Tomorrow”  (Cam Wilson)  (4:00)
  5. “What Did I Do to You?”  (Ellis, Foster, McElroy)  (4:18)
  6. “Slow Dance”  (Ellis, Foster, McElroy)  (4:20)
  7. “I Don’t Mind”  (Marlon McClain, Ellis, Foster, McElroy)  (5:17)
  8. “You Make Me High”  (Foster, McElroy)  (4:39)
  9. “Back Down Memory Lane”  (McClain, Ellis, Foster, McElroy)  (3:59)
  10. “It’s You That I Need”  (Verdell Lanier, Michael Stokes)  (4:19)
  11. “Sista Sista”  (McClain, Ellis, Foster, McElroy)  (4:43)
  12. “Southern Gal Interlude”  (Nate Phillips, McClain, Ellis, Foster, McElroy)  (1:!8)

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Released: November 14, 1995
Recorded: January, 1995 – September, 1995. Recorded and mixed at FM Studios, Oakland, CA
Track 4 recorded at Studio 213, North Hollywood, CA and mixed at Encore Studios, Burbank, CA
Genre: Soul, R&B, Hip Hop
Length: 51:11

Label – EastWest Records

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