Body Kiss

Dreamworks Records


IsleyBrothersCD_small.jpg (4856 bytes)

  There are no other acts in history that have had huge hits in the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and the ‘00s. This is the only one. From “Shout” in ’59 to “What Would You Do” in ’03, the Isleys have been an icon in R & B. Unfortunately, Body Kiss is not their best work. There are sure to be a couple of hits to keep the legacy alive, but there’s no edge or legs at all. Producer, songwriter, and underage porn provocateur R. Kelly is in complete control and that’s unfortunate. Lead guitarist Ernie Isley is buried in the mix except for a brief moment in “Takin’ A Ride.” It’s a shame. The man could’ve and should’ve been the heir apparent to Hendrix (who himself was a touring member of The Isley Brothers before going solo and inspiring the young Ernie to join the family business). Special guests like Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Kim and R. Kelly (under the pseudonym The Pied Piper) get far more ear time than Ernie. Mr. Biggs, however, (a.k.a. Ronald Isley) is the star of this show. His sultry vocals are reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield (even if he did technically precede him) and it’s his presence alone that raises the bar from bargain bin fluff to ultimately worthwhile. With the exception of the highly theatrical “Showdown” and the straight up Superfly strut of “Superstar,” there’s nothing here to add or detract from the legend of The Isleys. It’s just another R & B, turn the lights down low and make out album. Good…but nothing special. (9268 W. Third St. Beverly Hills, CA 90210)

Chris McKay/