Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Blues, Jazz, Pop, R&B
Establishing her musical foundation
Jesse H. Melchor | Chicago, IL USA | 12/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the realm of quiet storms, aching ballads, torch song flavorings, upbeat tempos and lyrical content, there stands the ebony enchantress, Phyllis Hyman, surveying the vast terrain around her. Her eponymous debut reflects not only the passion of the lady, but marks the advent of a songstress who refused to be typecast into a particular genre of music. She was a lyrical interpreter who possessed true vocal talent. Whereas not to compromise her aptitude or belittle her worth, she staunchly refused to sing songs that lacked substance and integrity.The world first became aware of Phyllis Hyman in 1975, through four tracks that were released before her debut album. The first of these, "Leaving The Good Life Behind," sailed along the disco wave of the period. Her passion through the lyrics she sings is evident; however, the single was not met with the same passion. It came and went without fanfare. Her second single "Baby, I'm Gonna Love You" fare better and garnered more attention on the R&B charts, rewarding her with a minor hit. Both tracks were produced by George Kerr, who is credited with discovering Phyllis Hyman. Several other songs were mastered under his hand; however, a studio fire destroyed these master tapes.Her subsequent artistic collaboration with Norman Connors resulted in two released singles from his acclaimed album "You Are My Starship." The mid-tempo duet, "We Both Need Each Other," further capitalized on her unique style and her voice was complimented with featured male vocalist Michael Henderson. She would record with him again in the future on one of her biggest R&B hits. It wasn't until the painfully lush ballad, "Betcha By Golly Wow," that provoked an effective second look at this aspiring singer. The result: it raised the audience's interest level of this woman who projected a musical and artistic maturity far beyond her years. During the course of her musical career, she would continue to lovingly tease her fans by occasionally providing vocals to tracks for other artists such as Norman Connors, The Four Tops, Barry Manilow, Joe Sample, Pharaoh Sanders, Lonnie Liston Smith, McCoy Tyner, the late Grover Washington, Jr. and The Whispers.Phyllis enchanted crowds during live concerts with her panache, manner, and sophistication. Statuesque in appearance, her vocal delivery stood on it own, effectively demonstrating that she had true vocal talent. Ear and eye candy complimented each other perfectly. Capturing the elements that define her enchantment, her debut album begins a musical journey with "Loving You, Losing You," the project's first released single. The musically dramatic, lushly orchestrated epic track was produced by Thom Bell (whose work with the Spinners provided added credibility) and truly proved to be an ideal match worthy of Phyllis' talents. Like the singer, the song is filled with passion. It is upbeat in arrangement but starts things off by creeping in on the listener with a subtle keyboard. One by one, each instrument chimes in...building into a crescendo that renders one breathless. Once the brass kicks in, you are under her spell - all of this even before her vocals! Her sophistication solidified without reserve, Phyllis rides the wave of musical divinity on this song, clocking in at over seven minutes.The second single, "No One Can Love You More," carries the listener through a lush melodic tune that expresses confidence. She refuses to succumb to the invasive inquiries by others of loving another. She truly professes her adamant honesty, evoking sincere conviction with lyrics like "No, I'm not dreaming. Love has a meaning. You're all I live for. No one can give more," and "Questions people ask of me for loving you. Why should I say the reasons are my own?" Find yourself lost within the lush melody of the song."I Don't Want To Lose You," finds Phyllis re-interpreting the Spinners classic, and making it all her own in the process. There is a simple elegance to the arrangement and serves to further compliment her vocal delivery. It is here where the audience will become familiar with Phyllis' scat. As with most of the songs in her repertoire, this ballad has stood the test of time and it wears the element very well.Bask in the divinity of her voice as she croons "One Thing On My Mind." Phyllis teases the listener by exhibiting vocal restraint on this upbeat track. It is only until the unadulterated chorus expresses itself that Phyllis belts out her fiery passion. Another musical concoction comes through with "The Night Bird Gets The Love." The tune combined elements of funk, jazz, rock and the good ole' quiet storm. The result is a tender mid-tempo ballad that succeeds on equal balance.During her career, Phyllis often sang delicate and simply arranged tunes. A true music lover can appreciate the ingredients to the eminent torch song recipe. "Was Yesterday Such A Long Time Ago" is one such track of many that she would record in this vein throughout her career. Her vocal styling reigns supreme on such tracks, consisting of an a capella ballad relentlessly weaving its way through your soul. This is where the Sophisticated Lady excels and yet another reason why she is so very dearly appreciated.The mid-tempo, "Beautiful Man Of Mine," was one of several songs written by her then-husband Larry Alexander. Phyllis literally sings to him, as noted by her passionate vocal delivery. As a song, it could be an anthem to anyone who feels so very strongly about their loved one. Just imagine her gazing into Larry's eyes in the recording studio as she croons the vocals penned by her then-husband, and you will fully appreciate each word that passionately flows from her. Of course, one will soon hear her employ her scatting techniques once again.Overall, Phyllis Hyman delivers a solid and well-balanced debut album that forged her musical direction, expertise and philosophy. Truly, she leaves the listener yearning for more. She would lovingly continue to fuel these embers throughout her career."
Her First Album!!!
G. Carter | Temple Hills, maryland United States | 04/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This wonderful album should not be out of print!!! Anyone discovering Phyllis needs to have this cd!!!!! This first project is a all-time favorite of mine!! I love this woman's voice and i miss her! "Loving you-Losing You' is my jam!'No one can love you more' is a beautiful ballad, 'I don't want to lose you' always love this song by the Spinners, but Phyllis brings an emotional depth that surpasses there's, 'One thing on my mind' a good disco song that Phyllis handles well(Dionne Warwick also does a great cover of this song.)This entire cd is the beginning of a great career!"
I love Phyllis
Joe H Emory | Long Beach, CA United States | 03/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the female singers I admire and appreciate, it is always Phyllis Hyman that tops the list. The voice that melts me is beautiful and melodic. I would reccomend this and any of Phyllis's cds. Anyone who wants to be a great singer of songs needs to listen and learn from Ms Hyman. There is always one Phyllis cd in my changer at home and in the car. If you love the voices of Toni, Nancy or Anita you will fall in love with Phyllis Hyman. The most underrated of all!"