Chapter 1: Love, Pain & Forgiveness

by: Syleena Johnson

Songs about breakups are a staple of modern R&B, so it's no surprise that Syleena Johnson has dedicated an entire album to a relationship gone wrong. What is surprising is that Chapter 1: Love, Pain & Forgiveness is good enough to keep the listener's attention throughout. Johnson is the daughter of singer Syl Johnson and, like her father, Syleena has a powerful voice that is suited for both blues and soul. Highlights on the album include the infectious "I Am Your Woman," written by R&B heavyweight R. Kelly, and the jazzy "Everybody Wants Something." Even when she sings MOR numbers like "I'd Rather Be Wrong," Johnson brings a complexity and maturity to the music that is rare for a debut artist. Chapter 1: Love, Pain & Forgiveness is a remarkably polished effort and, as the title suggests, Johnson has only just begun. ~ Jon Azpiri

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