Essra Mohawk’s 20th Anniversary re-release of E-Turn starts off with “Let Her Know,” a punchy, uptempo dance, 80’s style with the singer’s distinctive style. It’s got the same beat pretty much as Tony Basil’s “Mickey” and is a wonderful segue matched with that classic. “You’re A Mover” has a heavy-on-the-pause bassline from Steve Beskrone – (who’s also played with Pat Martino, Ray Charles, The O’Jays…) for the slinky, spy-novel trance-rock, a transitional new wave goes 80s track. “Mankind” cries for Essra to go back to her days with the Mothers of Invention to add a little extra chaos to the apocalyptic “we aren’t going to make it” theme of James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. There are exquisite pop nuances that drift inside the corners of this tune, tucked inside the gloom and doom electro pop.
A pink six page insert has the lyrics, which helps the listener when one of my favorite tracks here, “Silver Ships” comes in as the antidote to “Mankind.” A wonderful ballad with a divine hook/chorus, it’s science meets religion and fantasy, just a stunning track that puts the depth of Essra’s talent on display. “Jealousy” brings the dance back, and in 1985 it should have been a big hit on the dance floor and radiowaves. “Digital” seems to be an answer to Alice Cooper’s “We’re All Clones” while Track 8, “All for Your Love” is four minutes and forty four seconds of more sublime music, melody and words that Essra is a master of. There’s a 3 minute 46 second driving “Change of Heart” – the song that hit for Cyndi Lauper a year later (and went Top 3) in 1986. Bobby King’s guitar rocks, the tone Ricky Byrd put into so many Joan Jett classics blending perfectly with Essra’s vocal style. “It’s Our Future” closes out the dozen tracks, the entire offering sounding like a concept album, even with the bonus tracks. It all works nicely together and is a fun outing that begs for repeated spins.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.