Cherry Red Records (label)
30 January 2018 (released)
11 March 2018
Marketed in the late 1980s as the new Madonna, Martika's early success was helped by the huge hit Toy Soldiers. Having got the music world's attention, the American singer also caught the eye of Prince. She followed the likes of Sheena Easton and Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) in being taken under his wing. There are four collaborations with him here, including the sublime Love Thy Will Be Done, which still sounds as freshly seductive as it did in 1991. The innuendo of the album's title is hardly subtle and many of the tracks have that undertone; Don't Say U Love Me not only has the Prince spelling but also his funk and wink as Martika sings about a love rollercoaster going up and down.
Too much here though sounds like Madonna-light pop. There is even the Vogue keyboard splash throughout, as well as that tinny late 80s production which can make the album sound particularly dated. Surprising though is the smooth soul-jazz of the Christopher Max collaboration A Magical Place. Ultimately the album was a disappointment at the time and received poorly in the States, despite Prince's influence. Soon after this release Martika faded from the public eye, withdrawing from the music industry because or burn out and frustration with fame.
For fans of her and Prince this re-release has plenty of added material to explore, including various mixes of Spirit and a Prince-mix of Love They Will Be Done.