I Am Your Woman: The Best of Syleena Johnson

by: Syleena Johnson

Syleena Johnson's jazzy alto vocals, which show more than a few traces of gospel and the blues in approach and phrasing, have plenty of R&B DNA in them as well, since she is the daughter of Hi Records soul singer Syl Johnson, although father and daughter travel slightly different paths through similar musical territory. The younger Johnson also has a full vision of what she wants to say, and while most of her material falls into the dark corridors of love gone wrong, the joy and defiant survivability in her inflection give everything she tackles the veneer of hope. This set collects key tracks from her linked autobiographical trio of albums from Jive Records, and includes the urban hit title track "I Am Your Woman"; the powerful "Hit on Me," which tackles the issue of physical abuse; and a masterful cover of Al Hudson's "If You Play Your Cards Right." The result is a fine introduction to an intriguing singer at the start of what looks to be a very promising career. ~ Steve Leggett

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