by: Sheila E.
Seven years after Sheila E. burst upon the scene with her Top Ten single "The Glamorous Life," the talented percussionist's fourth release, Sex Cymbal, reflects the sound of successful, late-'80s artists like Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. It's a solid mix of pop/R&B ballads like the pretty (if unspectacular) "Loverboy" and more dance-oriented tracks. The title track is a slinky come-on and Sheila E. leads her band through a horn-laden version of "Lady Marmalade." The musicianship is not-surprisingly strong and there are a couple cool instrumental jams. Sex Cymbal is a sure-footed, groove-oriented album, but it lacks anything as memorable as her earlier hits. ~ Tom Demalon