Rolling Stone Magazine Review 


Nile Rodgers 
album "B-Movie Matineé"

Here's the best pop-jazz guitarist since Wes Montgomery, the best producer of pop grooves since Willie Mitchell, maybe the best writer of dance anthems ever, coming through with his second mediocre solo record. It's not that he's no vocal genius: Rodgers has made great music under the same limitation with Chic, not to mention Madonna. Rather, he seems to need a foil – Bernard Edwards' bass, Madonna's or Bowie's taste, a great song like his own "We Are Family."

True to its title, B-Movie is diverting and forgettable. We get Nile's trademark light-crunch production, syncopated lead guitar (though not enough of it), too many found and sampled voices and some kitschy concepts ("Plan-9" and "Doll Squad"). Of the two fully developed cash-register contenders, "State Your Mind" and "Let's Go Out Tonight," neither quite closes the deal. Rodgers knows the difference. Remember the first time you heard "Good Times," "We Are Family," "Let's Dance," "Like a Virgin"? You knew you were listening to some history.

Perhaps, as with his first solo effort, Nile isn't really going for the big one. Maybe he likes the quiet life he's earned and means for his solo dates to serve as a laboratory for future experiments. If so, I wish this one were more adventurous, and had more guitar. (Remember "Savoir Faire," or "Tavern on the Green"?) If not, B-Movie may be one of those jobs that Nile takes on between the big challenges, like his Southside Johnny album, or the latest Sister Sledge. Rodgers has bounced back too often and hit too many highs for this to be any cause for concern. Let's just say it's not one of the moments for which he'll be remembered.