April 03, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST

Emotional Violence

Current Status
In Season
Reprise Records
We gave it an A

Cameo’s head honcho, Larry Blackmon, he of the mile-high flattop and leather codpieces, is the proud owner of one of R& B’s most lip-smackingly, deliciously horny, funk-drenched whines of a voice. The way he stretches out a ”yaow” surely qualifies him for the Yaow Hall of Fame, right next to Leroy ”Sugarfoot” Bonner, lead singer of the Ohio Players. Coming off 1990’s close-but-no-cigar Real Men Wear Black, Emotional Violence shows Cameo doing what it does best; unleashing concise, smart, and filled-to-the-brim-with-sexual-swagger funk that won’t take no for an answer. The trio hasn’t sounded so fierce since 1986’s classic of attitude, the song ”Word Up.” Cuts like the salaciously slammin’ ”Raw But Tasty” and ”Money,” with its snaking synths and jackhammer drumbeats, make this an excursion into the land of the so-nasty-but-I-like-it. Even when it turns down the heat, as on the cascading ”Love Yourself,” Cameo still burns. In an age in which funk is increasingly confused with formula, there ain’t no mistaking Cameo’s sound. A

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