Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Playboy Music

In 1984, legendary has-been Tina Turner Culminated a three-year comeback attempt with an album whose multiple producers betrayed unmistakable pop anxiety. But when Private Dancer spun off multiple smashes, it inspired Tina's crossover competition to do the same, wandering from producer to producer in search of varied singles. On Break Every Rule (Capitol), Tina breaks her own new rule. Side two is split three ways and is quite OK, but side one goes to young pro Terry Britten, who meshes so well with Tina that the new album achieves the long-playing flow its predecessor lacked. Britten's songs induce Turner to respond creatively but consistently to a variety of sexually charged interactions. His guitar is the tastiest fillip in the 48-track mix. And he never lets his worldly-wise heroine sing off peak--her voice is so rich, feral, breathy, funny, tough and loud that the album would sound fine if the songs were pap, and unbearably exquisite if they were masterpieces.

Playboy, Jan. 1987

Dec. 1986 Feb. 1987