Therapy, the latest record from Atlanta based R&B singer Christine Horn, has many teaching moments. With Horn standing in front of the blackboard, she uses her songs to teach her female students how to keep their men out of the strip club while instructing the men on how to keep a - ahem - happy missus at home. And those two lessons occur on the first two songs. That second song (the one for the brothers) is called "Educated," and it can also serve as a lesson in the proper use of the double entendre for this generation's metaphorically and imagery challenged soul singers.
Therapy, the latest record from Atlanta based R&B singer Christine Horn, has many teaching moments. With Horn standing in front of the blackboard, she uses her songs to teach her female students how to keep their men out of the strip club while instructing the men on how to keep a - ahem - happy missus at home. And those two lessons occur on the first two songs. That second song (the one for the brothers) is called "Educated," and it can also serve as a lesson in the proper use of the double entendre for this generation's metaphorically and imagery challenged soul singers. I mean, it's clear from these lyrics that Christine Horn has been listening to the blues: "I want a man who knows how to use his brain/Knows what to do and how to drive me insane/I want a man who knows how to use his head/Make a sista want to stay in bed/Cause I don't feel like giving directions tonight/I don't feel like teaching-is that alright/The man I choose has got to read my clues/The man I choose must have a big IQ.
Horn continues the sexual innuendo in the chorus, which takes on the feel of a job interview: "Are you educated/Do you have a trade/Can you use your hands/Can you use you legs/Are you educated/Do you have a skill/Can you use a nail/Can you use a drill/I want to know if that's you."
It never gets more explicit than that, yet the listener knows exactly what Horn is trying to say. Using school or interviewing someone for a job as a metaphor for proving one's sexual prowess is what made songs such as "Teach Me Tonight," and "Want Ads" timeless. Horn is competing with some great company, and she competes well.
The first song is even better because Horn uses "Shake It" to have a little fun while discussing a very serious issue - mainly why so many seemingly attached men feel the need to spend a bunch of time and money at strip clubs. I've heard plenty of women complain bitterly about husbands and boyfriends who frequent strip clubs to ogle over gyrating women. The men might say the clubs represent nothing but a way for guys to have a little fun, but many wives and girlfriends - some who are more than willing to put on some pasties and a thong and "drop it like it's hot" - take it as the ultimate sign of disrespect. And let's face it; strip clubs aren't exactly the safest place in the world. I mean, does the name Pac Man Jones mean anything to you?
"Shake It" employs that Caribbean beat that is the unofficial soundtrack of the strip club as Horn shows the women how to do like the girls in the club do: "If he tell you he don't like it baby/I can assure you he's a lie honey/Why would he spend his money at Magic City/Well let me tell you what you've got to do/To keep those man's eyes on you just learn these few steps to gain his interest."
However, Horn doesn't confine our teaching to bedroom tactics. In fact, the main lesson Horn wants her students to learn is that it's tough out there. There are married men looking to have a chick on the side, like the guy Horn describes in the tune "Mr. If Only." On "Attached," Horn describes how easily those no-commitment hook-ups can become an emotional attachment that is often one-sided. Again, this is timely, and there are several books on the subject. Those hook-ups can also be risky because, as the old AIDS education commercials warned us, "when you sleep with someone, you are also sleeping with everyone that person slept with." That risk becomes powerfully apparent on the song "Mayday." Horn describes a situation where her sexual partner leaves without telling her. The man is HIV positive and he believes he has given the disease to his partner. It turns out that the man, who died, contracted the virus from the woman. Other high points include the sweet title track, "Therapy," the anti-domestic violence song "Love Hurts," and "Angst," a rock anthem about the age-old conflict between parents and children.
There are a diverse variety of songs and teaching moments on Therapy, and Horn proves to a more than apt teacher. Highly recommended.
By Howard Dukes