Today’s Pop Rescue from a fate uncertain, is the 1985 third album Meeting In The Ladies Room by American pop/R&B group, Klymaxx. Will this album make you purr with pleasure, or does it need to be flushed away ASAP? Read on…
This 9 track LP opens with the flurry of drum machine fills of lead single The Men All Pause, followed by a nice simple repetitive synth line. This is clearly is one of those songs with an alternate meaning – this time ‘the menopause’ (see also: Ebeneezer Goode – The Shamen, and If You Seek Amy – Britney Spears). The chorus is quite nice and catchy with the group’s breathy vocal harmonies led by Bernadette Cooper and Fenderella. Musically the simple smacking beats and jangling guitar reminds me somewhat of Ray Parker Jr’s tracks on his Sex And The Single Man album. Sadly, the track was not released in the UK.
That’s followed by further dramatic drums as fourth and final single Lock And Key arrives. There is a stylistic change here, and that’s perhaps because the track is produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (Michael Jackson) who throw in some funky fresh sounds and dramatic bursts of synth stabs here and there. The track also sees Lorena ‘ Lungs’ Shelby take the lead vocals and this seems result in us having a stronger pop vocal, that’s closer to Janet Jackson or Five Star. Again, this track was not released in the UK.
Then it’s reflective ballad I Miss You with Fenderella on the mic. There’s some really nice little vocal harmonies here, but it’s a real plodder of a meandering song. This was the album’s third single and it gave Klymaxx their debut chart position in the UK, but it stalled at #89, and I can imagine why. Worryingly, this is one of two tracks here that are produced by the group themselves, so is this their true self? We’ll find out in a few tracks time.
Just Our Luck is next with Fenderella back on the lead vocals. She delivers this track with seemingly great ease and I’m reminded of Five Star here, and it’s a nice little upbeat 80’s track.
Side Two opens with the titular track and second single Meeting In The Ladies Room and it’s off to a nice simple start with snare and handclaps before Lorena takes the mic as the song’s percussion builds. A nice bass drops in alongside drum machines that are clearly on overtime with this album so far. It works a treat and the track’s ‘hey‘ and ‘oh oh oh oh‘ vocal riffs help to keep this track feeling catchy as hell, even the bridge works wonderfully. Annoyingly, this single was not released in the UK – remixes would absolutely bang on this one.
Video Kid follows this, wonderfully dating the track to the 1980s, but aside from that, Lorena, and Judy Takeuchi take the mic in this wonderful foot-tapper of a song, that’s loaded with gurgling synths that sound like they’re from a video game, and a ton of hand claps that help keep the song bouncing along.
Next is Ask Me No Questions, the other Klymaxx produced track, and we’re back to ballad territory. Lorena takes on lead vocal duties once again for this stronger ballad than I Miss You, and she gets to show off some of that lung power as the song evolves. The piano is a nice addition here, as it throws in some lighter notes amongst the plodding bass and snare. The rest of the group help to warm the song with some well placed soft harmonies.
That’s followed by Love Bandit, opening with some wonderful synth disco sounds from space. This settles into a nice bouncy bass line and as you might expect now, Lorena has the mic again. This results in a fantastically catchy song, and it’s a shame that this was not a single as it really shines.
The album closes with I Betcha, and it’s another little upbeat song with Lorena on the mic. This is a much simpler track with her vocals, over the top of a jangly guitar, and simple beat. Occasionally, vocal harmonies join her, but this track is 98% hers, but lacks any real big vocal turns and points of interest.
Over all, this album is a nice collection of 1980’s pop and R&B songs. The album had already been released in the USA in late 1984, arriving in the UK in 1985, but sadly with just one charting single, the album was ignored and it failed to chart.
This album’s cover seems to say power, strength, and attitude, and that is certainly there in some of the tracks, but others, and I’m excluding the ballads here, sound a little light and timid. That said, Lorena ‘Lungs’ does occasionally prove why she has this name, but it is far too infrequent, and it would have been nice to hear her really let rip in a few places, backed by the perfectly capable harmonies offered up by the other band members.
There’s some really great tracks here, and they’re led by the titular Meeting In The Ladies Room and Love Bandit, and I can imagine the latter being covered as some thumping dance track at some point (if it hasn’t already). These tracks carry weight, interest, and sound fully formed and catchy as hell. The album’s weakest tracks are sadly the two ballads, both also the two tracks produced by the band themselves – I Miss You – sounding like a missing Michael Jackson song, and Ask Me No Questions which is marginally stronger, but still languishes in the plodder lane.
A big ‘shout out’ goes to a Lynda Law of Smithdown Road, Liverpool, England, who previously owned our copy of the LP, and managed to write her name on every part of it, and her address on a sticker on the reverse. I hope you enjoyed this album.
It’s a great album, with just a couple of weaknesses. Didn’t make us Klymaxx, but we certainly edged close.
- POP RESCUE 2023 RATING: 4 / 5
- 1985 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: Did not chart in the UK.
- POP RESCUE COST: £2.00 from a Discogs.com seller.