Minnie Riperton's fine debut album is proof enough that the arrival of a new singer-songwriter on a crowded scene need hardly be another bore. Though Wonderlove arranged the tunes and Stevie himself has added two songs and a lot of back-up work, Minnie's high breezy voice remains the undisputed center of the sound.
Appetite is the word to describe the cool urgency of Minnie's singing, though it's a fastidious appetite that discriminates between moods even from phrase to phrase. Rarely, too, are lyrics so perfect a vehicle for voice improvisation. The settings are fluid mixtures of soul and folk, of driving rhythms and pearly ballads. Minnie and Richard Rudolph write real melodies, not riffs masquerading as tunes or offhand phrases sewn together and called songs. The album's fullest cuts land midway between the rocking tempo of "Reasons" and the hush of "Lovin' You": light Wonder grooves like "Edge of a Dream" and "Every Time He Comes Around," grooves whose models emerge with Stevie's own tunes, "Take a Little Trip" and "Perfect Angel."
Originally published in Crawdaddy, October, 1974