It’s too bad that the Internet age of fire-and-forget mass forwarding and a few questionable album covers have sullied Millie Jackson’s good name, because she has one of the truly unique voices in R&B. Her twin masterpieces, Caught Up and Still Caught Up (now commonly sold together) are powerful statements that view adultery from two feminine points of a love triangle. Throughout the two suites, she plays the part of both the mistress and the spurned wife. Caught Up is the stronger of the two records, and the prurient subject matter of the mistress benefits Jackson’s sassy wit. Still Caught Up is still a fine record, and the heartbreak and ultimate pushback of the wife to her cheating man and his mistress is more resonant, if a little lesser musically. Either way, backed by the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, it’s a huge achievement, catchy, funky, and emotional.
Starting with a potent version of Luther Ingram’s “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right”, the beginning triptych of Caught Up is worth the album’s purchase alone.
The triptych continues with the astounding track “The Rap”, in which the mistress lays out the pros and cons of being the woman on the side. She also gets off this line: “But the sweetest thing about the whole situation is… when you go to the laundromat, you don’t have to wash anybody’s funky drawers but your own.” POW!
Unfortunately, YouTube has failed to bring me the third song on Caught Up, a reprise of “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right”, so I will have to leave you instead with fiery Still Caught Up jam “Leftovers”.
Millie Jackson [Official site]