It's a relief to finally see 'An Imitation of Love' back in print - for a while there I thought I was never going to own a CD of this album with the prices as high as they were. But Funky Town Grooves has come to the rescue, and they've included a few terrific bonus tracks to make the ultra-low price of this remastered CD even sweeter.
It took me a while to warm up to this album, because it is a bit more mainstream and has a different sound from Millie's previous albums at this point in her career. At first, aside from the fabulously filthy opener, "Hot! Wild! Unrestricted! Crazy Love", I thought this album seemed a bit clean for her. But if you listen closely, she's just as raunchy as ever - the slick, glossy 80s production just covered it up a bit. 'It's a Thang' is hysterical, and it's one of the best tracks here (especially the 12" version included as a bonus on this reissue). I'm also quite fond of her cover of Prince's "I Wanna Be Your Lover", and the big R&B hit, "Love Is a Dangerous Game". The title track is a gorgeous and tender ballad.
I interviewed Millie myself, and she told me that her albums for Jive were put together by several different producers, which resulted in a hodge-podge of different sounds. This probably accounts for the lack of identity on these albums compared to the ones she did for Spring Records, and her infamous 'Back to the S__t!' live album was intended as a return to her signature sound and "rapping". That's not to say 'An Imitation of Love' is a bad album - far from it! It is certainly the best studio album she recorded for the label, though I find 'The Tide Is Turning' to be of very high quality as well. I sure hope that Funky Town Grooves will continue to re-release Millie's Jive-era albums with bonus tracks.