"I'm one of the biggest fans of classic soul/r&b on the planet, and as such I'm NOT a huge fan of much post-1984 r&b. This later album by Pendergrass, however, is one of the rare exceptions.Despite the larger presence of electronic beats and drum machines on this album, compared to earler Pendergrass/Philadelphia International/Gamble & Huff releases, this 1988 release is a true throwback to a time when the music mattered the most......and actual talent dictated the pace of songs and the way they were written. I picked this up at a bargain price, and I must say that I was shocked by the quality of the CD, from the first song to the last. The electonic instruments are used effectively for the most part and are never overwhelming, but instead do an effective job of imitating old-fashioned soul arrangements.Other than the first two songs on the CD ("Joy" and "2 a.m."......the two single releases), I was unfamiliar with the album. But incredibly, Pendergrass is in fine form throughout and never sounded better. You'd never guess Pendergrass was paralyzed in a car accident just a few years before. The entire album maintains an incredibly romantic, wistful feel.......perfect for any evening with your special one.......or even for yourself when you want to relax to smooth soul."This Is The Last Time" is a standout track, and the female backup singers are extremely effective on this disc........they themselves throwbacks to old call-and-respond soul. Think of this disc as an old-time church for love! Does it match TP's earlier albums? Amazingly, yes. This is, in my opinion, his best album since "Life Is a Song Worth Singing," ......and it nearly matches his self-titled debut. Though nothing can match his classic "Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes" days, this disc is about as good as soul gets in the late 80s. A rare display of true soulful talent in an era pretty much devoid of honest soul (Perhaps only Franklie Beverly & Maze's later albums could still truly lay that claim)..........if you're an r&b fanatic, or a fan of Philly soul, I'd highly recommend Teddy Pendergrass' "Joy" album."
Teddy's Classic Soul Album
M. Edwards | Buckinghamshire United Kingdom | 09/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The 80s was a great time for soul music. Teddy Pendegrass, Luther Vandross, Peabo Bryson, Freddie Jackson, Alexander O'Neal and Billy Ocean all put out creative albums that dealt with the ups and downs of relationships from the male perspective. It makes a refreshing change from the monotonous bump n grind on offer today.
Teddy's 1988 album was one of my favourite albums of the decade. Although he never fully recovered from that fatal car accident that left him paralysed, he still managed to put together 8 great songs.
The album opens with the great dance floor number, "Joy", with its catchy hooks and solid bass line. It still sounds good today. This is a mostly mellow album, and the ballads are truly outstanding. There aren't many albums that get me all emotional, but this one comes close. With the help of the backing vocals (Charlene Holloway, Annette Hardeman, Elizabeth Hogue and Miles Jaye) Teddy tugs at those heart strings.
"Love Is The Power" - lovely song "This Is The Last Time" - it's the backing singers who carry the song, but that's ok. "Through The Falling Rain" - this is the track the gets my going. Anyone who's been in love will be able to relate to this song. "Can We Be Lovers" - this was a heart-felt plea with a touch of melancholy.
This is one of the most underrated albums of the 80s, despite the quality of the music. If you haven't discovered this superb album yet, I would say `give it a try' - you won't be disappointed. "
In spite of the critics...
Bete Noire | Vancouver, Canada | 03/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...Teddy Pendergrass still shone on this excellent 1988 album.True,this was very much in the spirit of the eighties,but the songs are varied,from midtempo numbers to ballads,and brimming with taste,elegance and inspiration.A true joy!"
A real winner from one of R&B's best male vocalists ever.
Justo Roteta | Los Angeles, California United States | 07/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although he could no longer sing with the vocal ferocity and prowess that had been a hallmark of his PIR (pre-1982) albums, "Joy" is as good as any of his 1977-82 releases. The title track was a huge hit but "Love Is The Power" and "2 A.M." are the reasons to buy this CD which proved (once and for all) that Teddy's career would continue."
TP, Teddy Bear, Teddy Pendergrass
L. Christie | CT USA | 04/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It doesn't matter what you call him--TP, Teddy Bear or Teddy Pendergrass. If he sings it, it's going to be great. Enjoy!"