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Product Reviews By User

I Missed Us Swv
I Missed Us (2012) 4.5 stars
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4 starsI missed them too....
SWV was for me the best female group of the 90's and this CD is really close to duplicating that magic, yet in a very updated way. I like just about every song here, but 3 stand out: "Co-Sign", "Love Unconditionally", and their version of "If Only You Knew". If only you knew is right, regarding Coko being being able handle the dramatic ending that Patti so perfected many years ago. This CD doesn't sound like their best CDs from the past (their first 2 albums), but you still get the SWV feel here. That is very hard to do so many years later after their first debut and still sound relevant. This one is a surprise and clearly a must have for any SWV or R&B fan.
Submitted by a reviewer (Dallas TX, USA) 8/1/2012

Signature JOE
Signature (2009) 4.7 stars
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5 starsSex, Sex, Sex.......
Here we have a CD that is singular in theme, but highly entertaining nevertheless. In between all the "getting inside" and "bed breaking" there is just enough substance and differentiation to make this a highly entertaining CD. Of particular note are "Miss My Baby", "Come Get To This", and "Sensitive Lover". Joe has flown under the radar for a number of years now, but listening to this its hard to figure out why that is. There really isn't a bad song here actually, again something quite rare today. This is a classic R&B CD from beginning to end and it deservers your full attention.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 9/30/2009

Self Portrait Lalah Hathaway
Self Portrait (2008) 5 stars
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5 starsSo so beautiful....
There hasn't been a CD this soothing in years. Her voice and the material come together so seamlessly that it is breathtaking. I've had the chance to see her in person a few times now so what you hear on the CD is what you actually get to hear in person. She is such a beautiful person and her music is so sensual. My favorites here are "On Your Own", "What Goes Around" and "For Always" ....really dreamy these songs are. The whole CD is just about as good as it gets really. It is also nice to see that she isn't taking 10 between CDs now. I'll admit that this CD had to grow on me at first, it seemed too tame compared to the last one, but then it hits you. Such pure sweetness and simplicity is a rarity today so you simply must get this one.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 6/2/2009

OnMyRadio Musiq Soulchild
OnMyRadio (2008) 4 stars
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5 starsBrilliant as always......
This guy is amazing...not a bad album yet. He is 5 for 5. Who else can you say that about? My only complaint here would be that he isn't giving us enough material, but that keeps you wanting more I guess. The immediate standouts are "Backagain", "Until", "Ifuleave", "Deserveumore" and "Sobeautiful". I mean this guy is so talented its scary. He has a familiar sound, but sounds fresh every time he steps up to the plate. Amazing. This CD is an absolute must for the real music lover.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 5/18/2009

Sketches of a Man Dwele
Sketches of a Man (2008) 4.9 stars
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5 starsSuch smoothness.......
After a slight stumble with the last CD, Dwele has come back with a vengeance. My absolute favorites here are "Feels So Good", "Open Your Eyes", and "I'm Cheatin'". WOW. He is really on it here. The entire CD with very few if any exceptions is listenable. How many people can you say that about today? His beats and the whole presentation itself are so different and appealing. Also check out "Brandi", "Love Ultra", "Shady", "Vain" "I'm Sorry", and “Body Rock”. This CD is the very definition of smoothness. Pure neo soul as they call it now.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 12/20/2008

Promise Deborah Cox
Promise (2008) 3.7 stars
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4 starsPromise Kept
Well here it is, the CD her fans have been waiting years for. Deborah Cox is back. Don't believe me? Listen to "Did You Ever Love Me" and "All Over Me" and you'll see what I mean. She still sounds as sweet as she did on her debut CD years ago. I'm also feeling "Love is Not Made In Words", "Down 4 U" and "All Hearts Aren't Shaped the Same". Also, “Beautiful U R” isn’t bad either. I can’t believe it, but she has been under the radar for a number of years now and with talent like this that simply shouldn’t be the case. This latest CD is most definitely worth the purchase for the R&B lover and Deborah Cox fan alike.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 12/12/2008

Timeless Kenny Lattimore
Timeless (2008) 4.5 stars
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4 starsSurprise, surprise....
I didn't really expect much here with these "same old songs", but he actually gives some of them new life. Of particular interest are "You Are My Starship" and "Ain't No Way". His take on these classics is simply breathtaking. I’d actually forgotten how good of a singer he is since on his most recent recording he had to compete with his equally brilliant wife, Chante Moore. Also, “Come Down In Time” is another winner as is “It Ain’t No Use”. He really comes through here on the vocals and unlike a lot of similar efforts he chose the right material to cover. Nearly every song here compliments his voice. Now that his vocal skills have been reaffirmed, it is time for some original material.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 9/18/2008

Good Girl Gone Bad Rihanna
Good Girl Gone Bad (2007) 4 stars Definitive Album
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4 starsWho would have thunk it?
I would have laughed at anyone who told me I'd like this girl so much by now. "Umbrella" did absolutely nothing for me, but then I heard "Don't Stop the Music" and I was sort of interested. The song that sold the whole thing for me was "Say It". I even like her voice and everything now. Amazingly I even like Umbrella after listening to it on my time, as opposed to the constant radio airplay. "Rehab" and "Lemme Get That" are favorites also. Here's to one that sneaked up on me.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora IL USA) 3/27/2008

Bedroom Classics, Vol. 2 Peabo Bryson
Bedroom Classics, Vol. 2 (2004) 5 stars
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5 starsCrooner Extraordinaire
Wow, I had forgotten how many hits this guy had back in the day! Most of his hits are here including my favorites, "Show and Tell" to "I'm So Into You" as well as some of his notable collaborations, with Roberta Flack for example. The song "I'm So Into You" really gives you the best sampling of his voice right from the very beginning of the song, a standout effort. There are some songs missing though so like a lot of compilation CDs by such an accomplished artist, it is difficult for one CD to capture it all. That said, this one is still a winner and deserves a look.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 8/10/2007 Verified Buyer

Let's Hear It for the Girls Let's Hear It for the Girls (2005) 5 stars
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5 starsSimply Beautiful!
Such an amazing collection we have here. The rarity of the artists present is to be celebrated. There are some true talents here that pretty much go unnoticed nowadays. Stevie Wonder's "All I Do" has been done many, but mastered by few. I like Wendy Moten's version enough to say she has done this (difficult) song proud. "Rainy Days & Mondays" by Benet is another masterpiece. Surprise, surprise to see Tina Moore here! How wonderful is that? Tina Moore debuted with so much promise in 1995, but has since all but vanished. Wendy Moten does it again with "When You Love Someone". Then you drift off into "Beautiful Contradiction" by Beverly Knight and Musiq, they're a perfect match here. However all of this only gets you ready for two really big favorites of mine, Phyllis Hyman and Lalah Hathaway. Two of the most gifted to ever pick up a microphone. Phyllis was an irreplaceable talent taken from us way too soon. Like Phyllis' "Old Friend", Lalah’s "Something" is from here early work, but it fits right in here. I was really shocked to see Swing Out Sister here. I still remember some of their early hits, "Breakout" and “Twilight World”. They still have that same sound. "Morning" by Brigette McWilliams is what you'd call "stirring", another highlight of this CD. Last, but not least is Deja. I'm waiting for the day when someone puts together a compilation of their work. They were so similar to Rene and Angela, but not quite as well known. I hadn't heard "You & Me Tonight" in so many years. Rarely does a CD with so much material from varying years come together so well. The material stands out as does the artist, a killer combination.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 8/8/2007 Verified Buyer

Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind and Fire Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind and Fire (2007) 3.4 stars
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4 starsPretty Good...
First off this CD deserves your attention because of the artists present. These are some of the truly talented folks that in most cases go unnoticed. That in itself makes this CD something to consider. What drives the whole effort home is what these artists have managed to do here, specifically the covers done by Angie Stone, Musiq Soulchild, Lalah Hathaway, and Mint Condition. Angie Stone is her usually classy self, in that Gladys Knight sort of way she has been perfecting for some time now. Musiq really proves he can sing just about anything. Lalah Hathaway, one of my favorites is brilliant here as is Mint Condition. For once we have a tribute CD that isn't crammed full of current, trendy, or big name artists who were asked to contribute just for the sake of selling more records. Never mind that in most cases all those more “popular” artists are all wrong for the type of material being covered. The perfect example of this was the “So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute To Luther Vandross “ CD. Oh well, also check out Dwele and Ledisi also. Here is a nifty collection of mainly underdog artists that really shines.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 7/20/2007

Very Best of Shirley Murdock Shirley Murdock
Very Best of Shirley Murdock (2001) 4.5 stars
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4 starsYet Another...
Brilliant singer that has been shut out of the industry. When I listen to these old songs I'm reminded of other similar singers from her era like Miki Howard and Jody Watley. Oh well at least Shirley's R&B material is still available. This is the best collection of her work that I've seen so far. My favorites here are "Husband", "Go On Without You", and the quiet storm standard "As We Lay". Also a song I hadn't heard before comes to the fore also, "The One I Need". This is a worthy addition to any R&B lover’s collection for sure. I see that she is doing gospel now, hmmm... I'll have to check some of those efforts out to see if this brilliant voice has been realized on that front.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 6/28/2007

Luvanmusiq Musiq
Luvanmusiq (2007) 4.2 stars
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5 starsShimmering Brilliance
Well he has done it again, it took him 4 years but it has been worth the wait. This guy has been my favorite male singer for a number of years and now I have no qualms about saying so. Where do I start about this one? Right away I found myself repeating “Takeyouthere", "Lullaby", "Greatestlove". These three songs represent Musiq at his absolute best. This is how good music (forget all the pestilent labels for a moment) is supposed to sound. This level of music is written and crafted, not merely "produced". As I write this, "Teachme" is making the rounds on the radio, very encouraging. Supporting the aforementioned songs are the equally interesting "Thequestions", "Makeyouhappy" and "Millionaire". Some don't like the one word theme that he uses for everything, all really trivial when the body of work is this good! This CD is a must buy as I really can't say enough about this guy’s talent.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 6/19/2007

Once Again John Legend
Once Again (2006) 4.7 stars Definitive Album
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5 starsA Rarity....
As I sit here listening to this I finally get it about John Legend. He is such a throwback to a time in which singers were really singers and artists were really artists, so much so to the point where I didn’t fully appreciate him until recently. I’m listening to the voice and the quality of the material here and I’m simply enthralled by this effort. From “Save Room” to “Heaven” to “Each Day Gets Better” he just transcends anything from almost anyone in the last 10-15 years. Amazing! Then it gets better with “P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)”, “Again” and “Maxine”. I’m also feelin’ “Another Again”. This type of music will more importantly be recognized as something “classic” years and years from now while the overwhelming majority of everything else you hear today will be long forgotten and discarded like the rubbish it is. Also, if you have the chance to see him and Corrine Bailey Rae, you must do so. I honestly didn’t think much of their pairing, particularly because I thought it would be boring. Recently a couple of friends got a spur of the moment chance to see John and Corrine while we were all in Detroit, and let me tell you the looks on their faces and their moods when they returned said it all. All of a sudden I saw the logic behind putting these two together, both appeal to that most discerning music lover. He has a very grandiose last name, but so far he is really on his way to becoming just that, a Legend.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 6/8/2007

If I Were Your Woman Stephanie Mills
If I Were Your Woman (1987) 5 stars
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5 starsA Gem
What a gem we have here. Little Stephanie Mills really shows off that voice here. I remember all these songs as if it were just yesterday. Hard to believe it has been 17 years!!! My favorite here is "Touch Me Now". So sweet it is. Then there are the other songs that we all remember being on the radio: "I Feel Good All Over", "If I Were Your Woman", "Rush On Me, A (You're Puttin')" and "Secret Lady". Stephanie is a singer's singer and there aren't a lot of those around today. On that basis alone this CD deserves to be in any R&B aficionado's collection.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 6/8/2007

Finally Karen Karen Clark-Sheard
Finally Karen (1997) 4.8 stars
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4 starsSo sweet and uplifting......
I'd been wanting to write a review of this CD for years now. I recently started listening to it again, and it was like listening to a new release. Such a sweet voice she has! My favorite songs here by far are "Jesus Is A Love Song" and "Just For Me", the latter if I remember right was the first single from this album. The song “Jesus Is A Love Song” is a live recording that really allows you to take in her vocal ability. I also like "Nothing Without You", "Praise Festival", "Gotta Right", "Unconditional". She has such a sweet and clear voice that is very easy on the ears even when she's working hard at belting out a song. There are so many singers today that I can't say that about. Her voice posses that same type of sweetness and heartfelt quality that endears singers like Ann Nesby and Tamala Mann (of Tyler Perry fame) to me. Simply put, you just feel good listening to them. I can’t see how one who loves good music and even better singing couldn’t have this CD!
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 2/2/2007

Next Episode Next
Next Episode (2002) 3.9 stars
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5 starsSurprised!
This is a sleeper of a CD. I never expected it to be this good. What we have here is the ultimate chill mode CD. I'd ordered this CD at least 2 years ago, but I never opened it! Looking for something "new" to listen to I decided to give it a try. Whoa, was I surprised. I have their CD right before this one (Welcome to Nextacy) and based on that one I didn’t expect much here, but I was wrong. This CD just flows. My favorites are "Imagine That", "Feels Good", "Brand New", and that last hidden track, which might just be the best song on the whole CD. There is some of that flavor from their first CD here with some hints of Intro, especially on the very last track. This is a hot CD that but I don't remember it getting much play back in 2002. Also check out "Do Your Thing", "Girl, Lady, Woman", ""Hold Me Down", "Just Like That", "Lights Out", "That's My Word", and "All Because Of You". There is precious little out of place here and it doesn’t sound the same on every track either, the perfect chill mode CD.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/28/2006

Saturday Night Zhane
Saturday Night (1997) 4 stars
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5 starsBrilliant
I don't know what happened to Zhane, but in any case we still have this stunning piece of work to cherish. Such quality production is lacking nowadays for sure, as are any comparable female duos. Floetry came tantalizingly close with their first effort, but they fell apart on their second CD. Floetry's rise and fall is in direct contrast to Zhane. Zhane only got better from their first CD to this second one. No wonder VH1 Soul still plays their videos regularly. What to listen for here you ask? Well my favorites are "Request Line", "This Song Is For You", "Just Like That", and "Piece It Together". Then you have a back drop of supporting tunes like "For The Longest Time", "Rendez-vous", "Kindness For Granted", "Temporary Thing", "Confusion", and "Color". In short the whole CD is a masterpiece. So talented they were, listen to how easily they transition from that hip hop'ish sound to actual "singin" with Will Downing. This is easily one of the top 10 CDs of the 90's and one of the best you'll hear in your life.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/22/2006

Saturday Night Zhane
Saturday Night (1997) 4 stars
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5 starsBrilliant
I don't know what happened to Zhane, but in any case we still have this stunning piece of work to cherish. Such quality production is lacking nowadays for sure, as are any comparable female duos. Floetry came tantalizingly close with their first effort, but they fell apart on their second CD. Floetry's rise and fall is in direct contrast to Zhane. Zhane only got better from their first CD to this second one. No wonder VH1 Soul still plays their videos regularly. What to listen for here you ask? Well my favorites are "Request Line", "This Song Is For You", "Just Like That", and "Piece It Together". Then you have a back drop of supporting tunes like "For The Longest Time", "Rendez-vous", "Kindness For Granted", "Temporary Thing", "Confusion", and "Color". In short the whole CD is a masterpiece. So talented they were, listen to how easily they transition from that hip hop'ish sound to actual "singin" with Will Downing. This is easily one of the top 10 CDs of the 90's and one of the best you'll hear in your life.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/22/2006

It Must Be Magic Teena Marie
It Must Be Magic (1981) 4.8 stars Definitive Album Bonus Tracks; Remastered
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5 starsA Gem!
I'm running out of things to say about Teena Marie’s consistency and breadth of talent. At least one song on this album ("Where's California") sound very similar to a song on her most recent release "Sapphire", that song being "You Blow Me Away". Something like 25 years separates the two songs and yet her distinctive sound is there! Can you believe that despite this fact her sound is still fresh after all these years? Anyway, I'd been meaning to add this one to my collection for quite some time due to three songs "Where's California", "365" and her live version of "Deja Vu (I've Been Here Before)". These are the songs that justify the purchase here because we've all heard "Portuguese Love", "Square Biz", "Square Biz" a million times before, though they're no less entertaining this time around. When is this woman going to properly honored for her stunning body of work?
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 9/13/2006 Verified Buyer

All For You Janet Jackson
All For You (2001) 4.2 stars
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5 starsFound
I was out recently and heard a Janet song that I hadn't heard before. Shockingly it was "Feels So Right" from this album. Then I realized that I didn't have this album! Me of all people without a recent Janet album, what nonsense! I can proffer no excuse for that. Anyway, knowing Janet's work is always superb I picked up this CD immediately and I'll be darned if I take to it instantly just like all of her other CDs from the many years she has been around. My favorites or the songs that "make" this cd are "When We Oooo", "China Love", "Feels So Right", "Truth" and "Son Of A Gun". Boy I really updated my collection just in time because she has a new CD due this month, another winner most likely. Anyway, check out " All For You", "Someone To Call My Lover", "Doesn't Really Matter", and "Better Days" here also. Janet is another one of those artists in which you instantly recognize her "sound", but she manages to keep it from going stale. That takes real talent when you've been at it for what, 20 years now?
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 9/12/2006

Journey of a Gemini Donell Jones
Journey of a Gemini (2006) 4.6 stars
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5 starsDonell...
Finally one of R&B's greatest talents has returned to form. Not since his first effort has he produced such an entertaining CD. The songs that make this album for me are "If U Want", "Ooh Na Na", "My Apology" and "Baby It's You". Then you have "Special Girl", "Portrait of a Woman", "I'm Gonna Be", "Feelin You" (though this song is a little too repetitious towards the end), and "Another Life" that support those standouts. As I mentioned in regards to "Feelin You" some of his songs are a little too repetitious, but that is about the only thing I don't like here. Also "Can't Wait" isn't bad either. I remember thinking way back in 1996 that this guy has some serious talent, but he hasn’t always lived up to that promise with the albums in between this one and the first one. However, Donell Jones has finally produced a CD with the same level of quality as his first. This is a must-buy.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 7/19/2006

Get Lifted John Legend
Get Lifted (2004) 4.5 stars Top Seller Definitive Album
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4 starsLegendary?
I finally got around to listening to this CD at length, and I like it. He has the voice of a true soul singer from another era. I'm particular fond of "She Don't Have To Know", "Number One", "So High", and "Live It Up". Those are where he sounds his best. Also check out "Let's Get Lifted", "Used To Love U" and "I Can Change". There is something appealingly retro about the whole thing. At this rate he will live up to that last name of his in no time.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 6/30/2006

Rose Is Still A Rose Aretha Franklin
Rose Is Still A Rose (1998) 5 stars
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5 starsAll hail the queen!
Why has this CD been relegated to an expensive "import" status? Here is a relatively recent release from Aretha that truly deserves full mention. She sounds brilliant here indeed. I love "Never Leave You Again", "Here We Go Again", and "The Woman". However the really big standout here is "Love Pang". Aretha is so sweet sounding. I just love the jazzy ending to "The Woman" and of course the lead-off hit "A Rose Is Still A Rose" is classic. Aretha’s voice seems to sound better when she isn’t so heavy so she sounds somewhat better here than on some more recent releases. Still though, all hail the queen!
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 6/30/2006

Love Wars Womack & Womack
Love Wars (1983) 4.3 stars
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3 starsA small treasure...
After years of searching for "Baby I'm Scared Of You" I found it and got some of their other hits in the process. Also of note here are "T. K. O." and "Woman". This CD is such a vivid reminder as to what we don't have on the music scene today, the male/female duo, now an extinct breed. This CD is worth the purchase on that fact alone in my opinion.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 6/20/2006 Verified Buyer

Sapphire Teena Marie
Sapphire (2006) 4.6 stars
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5 starsThe Comeback Continues.....
Teena Marie is amazing. Virtually non-existent from 1990-2004 and now two knock-down CDs back to back! The familiar Teena Marie sound is still here, but as with "La Dona" there are some interesting guests like Smokey Robinson, featured on "God Has Created" (beautiful by the way) and "Cruise Control". Her ode to Rick James, "You Blow Me Away" is the most moving song she has done in a quite a while. It sounds like something from that very era in which they were so compelling together. The song "Ooo Wee" is aptly named because that is likely the reaction of most when they hear it. Also check out: "A.P.B." and "Somebody Just Like You" which along with the songs I mentioned already comprise my favorites here. Then there is "The Way You Love Me", "Ladies Choice", "Love Is A Gangsta" and "Make It Hot". There is so much to like here so if you're a fan of "Lady T" you have to get this one. What we are seeing here is really extraordinary when realize how she has managed to keep her "sound" fresh all these years!
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 6/20/2006

Now Maxwell
Now (2001) 4.9 stars Top Seller
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5 starsUnderrated
Here is an extremely talented guy that remains an enigma which may just explain his intrinsic appeal. He has a very distinctive style, but he yet he is somewhat elusive. Long-time Maxwell fans will immediately connect with: "Silently", "For Lovers Only", "Was My Girl", “Lifetime” and "For Lovers Only". Then you have his other side with, "Get To Know Ya", "Temporary Nite", and "Now/At The Party". Just like his first release he keeps it extremely interesting from start to finish. There is something eerily appealing about this CD and his whole "style" for that matter. There is no one quite like him around today.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 5/26/2006

Eleven Incognito
Eleven (2006) 4.7 stars
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4 starsIncognito sails on........
The sheer competence of this group is getting scary at this point. I mean one album after another they come up with the same smoothness and refinement with ease it seems. I was immediately taken by "Baby It's All Right" and "As Long As It's You". Surprisingly those two songs don't feature Maysa! Another brilliant practice of Incognito comes through here, the changing of the lead female vocalist from song to song. Don't worry though Maysa is here in her typically distinctive form on "When Tomorrow Brings You Down". Then you have the supporting cast of songs like: "We Got Music", "Will I Ever Learn", and "I'll Get By". The sound here is traditional Incognito with something different thrown in for good measure as in my two favorites I mentioned above. I can’t believe that I’ve been a fan of this group since at least 1994 and they’ve yet to disappoint.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 5/23/2006

Livin' the Luxury Brown Mint Condition
Livin' the Luxury Brown (2005) 4.4 stars
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4 starsA Rarity...........
I've always been an avid admirer of any real band that hangs in there and continues to perfect their craft in such an unappreciative world that is the music industry today. Mint Condition has always been a very classy and original act and their latest CD demonstrates this. It has been awhile (1999) since their last recording so I was beginning to wonder whether or not they'd thrown in the towel. The first part of this CD is non-stop enjoyment - "My Sista", "Look Whachu Done 2 Me", "Whoaa", "I'm Ready", "Love Your Tears". My favorite tune here is "Half An Hour" followed closely by "What Happened". I like "Sad Girl" also. The sound here is familiar, but somehow a little different from some of their previous work, not sure how to explain it but it works. I can't help but get the feeling that time is quickly running out for real bands of this type because they're so under appreciated today. When you listen to this caliber of work you realize what a shame that sad reality is.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 5/16/2006

All Day, All Night Changing Faces
All Day, All Night (1997) 4.6 stars
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4 starsBetter Than Expected!
I honestly didn't think much of this CD way back when, but after really giving it a chance outside of the shadow of their first CD, it actually sparkles. Some of their first CD brilliance shines through on songs like "My Lovely" and "I Apologize", which also happen to be my favorites here. Finding out how good this CD really is emphasizes how much these girls are missed. There is no one quite like this girl duo on the scene today. I also like "G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T.", "All Of My Days", "My Heart Can't Take Much More", "I Got Somebody Else" and "No Stoppin' This Groove". This is one worth the purchase nearly 10 years later, which by the way is about the length of time I've had this CD, but never went over it in detail. Shame on me, but here it is….a great discovery!
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 5/10/2006

Unplugged Alicia Keys
Unplugged (2005) 4.2 stars
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3 starsJust Average For Her.......
I've always admired Alicia's talent, but apparently not even she can pull off a truly great live CD it seems. Don't get me wrong this CD does have few bright spots like "Unbreakable" and "Stolen Moments" which is my favorite here. Beyond those two only "You Don't Know My Name" really deserves any mention. I'll be awaiting her next studio effort.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 4/18/2006

Some Kinda... Dwele
Some Kinda... (2005) 4.4 stars
CD $13.75 Buy It  Details

3 starsOk....
A lot of the magic from his first CD is missing here. He still has that laid back sound I like, but I'm not feeling this CD like the first one. I "like" a lot of songs here: "Continued/Holla", "Know Your Name", "Weekend Love", "Lay It Down", "Keep On" and "Old Lovas", but there is nothing that stands out here like on his first effort.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 4/18/2006

Sweet Classic Soul Maysa
Sweet Classic Soul (2006) 4.3 stars
CD $17.65 Buy It  Details
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4 starsHow Wonderful...
To have a singer such as Maysa do an album like this is real treat. Though there is an inherent risk when doing such a project as this, Maysa proves her talent is more than up to the challenge. I'm immediately struck by "Love Won't Let Me Wait" and "Love Comes Easy". Her typically magical voice really comes through on those two songs. Then there are "Betcha By Golly Wow", "Don't Say Goodnight" and "Wishing On A Star", which she also manages to pull off effortlessly. There are well-worn classics from some of the greats like the Isley Brothers, Phyllis Hyman and Rose Royce, songs that most wouldn't dare to attempt today, yet Maya does it seemingly with ease. This impressive show of versatility just makes me anticipate her next original project that much more.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 3/9/2006

Mama's Gun Erykah Badu
Mama's Gun (2000) 5 stars Top Seller Definitive Album
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5 starsAbsolutely Stunning!
Here is Erykah's best work by far. Only her Live album even begins to approach the sheer brilliance of this cd. Right away there are three defining songs here, "Orange Moon", "Time's A Wastin" and the off-the-chart "Green Eyes". "Green Eyes" is 10 minutes of sheer Badu induced heaven. She reminds me so much of young Chaka Khan it’s spooky. Everything about this album is pretty much as good as gets. There is a different version of "Bag Lady" here than what was originally on the radio and it works. Of course “Didn't Cha Know” is another favorite. There is no doubt in my mind that the sheer quality of this CD stands head and shoulders above nearly anything out there today. No R&B collection is complete without this CD.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 3/2/2006

24-7 Kevon Edmonds
24-7 (1999) 4.8 stars
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4 starsImpressive Solo Debut
One of the brilliant voices from After 7 makes an impressive solo debut here. With his experiences from that group (one of the best of their period) and having Babyface in the mix, you knew this one would not disappoint. I was looking for something different to listen to for a while so decided to listen to this CD again after all these years. Still good music. Question is where is Kevon now? Anyway, my favorite songs here are "Love Will Be Waiting" and "When I'm With You". This CD has that familiar After 7/Babyface style all over it, which is no bad thing. Also check out "Never Love You", "24/7", "How Often", "I Want You More" and "Sensitive Mood". This is one for the smooth R&B lover.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 2/28/2006

Hurricane Eric Benet
Hurricane (2005) 4.5 stars Top Seller
CD $11.59 Buy It  Details

3 starsDecent
I had been meaning to check out this CD for a while now, after hearing "I Wanna Be Loved" on the radio. My favorites here are "I Wanna Be Loved", The Last Time", and "Pretty Baby". I'm also drawn to "Cracks Of My Broken Heart" and "Where Does The Love Go". Eric Benet sometimes strikes me as a cross between Babyface and Brian McKnight, particularly with this CD. There are some very sensual songs here for sure, but I'm afraid you have to be an Eric Benet fan to be crazy about this CD overall. Not a bad CD, but not outstanding either.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL USA) 2/13/2006

Solo Solo
Solo (1995) 5 stars Top Seller
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5 starsThrowback Soul
Let us look back for a moment. Remember that brief time during the early to mid-nineties in which male groups were seemingly everywhere? You had your soulful ones like Solo and Portrait then you had your R&B specialists like Intro. Then you had Mint Condition which brought the whole band theme to the table. Such a great era that was. The only group to have survived it seems is Mint Condition. Well during that time Solo stood out in my mind as the group with the distinctively old-school sound, a few years before the current Neo-Soul movement got its start. Such a shame Solo didn’t make it because this was a brilliant effort. While the whole CD is excellent, my favorites here are "Where Do U Want Me To Put It", “In Bed”, and "Blowin' My Mind. I just don't get why such talent didn't make it. Also check out "Heaven", "Xxtra", "It's Such A Shame", "Like Never Before, (Last Night I Made Love)", and "He's Not Good Enough". Were these guys too far ahead of their time? Possibly. I have to say that this is one CD you must purchase before it becomes unavailable.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 2/6/2006

Rachelle Ferrell Rachelle Ferrell
Rachelle Ferrell (1992) 4.9 stars Top Seller
CD $13.75 Buy It  Details

5 starsSo Sweet....
Here it is Rachelle's stunning debut. I've enjoyed this CD for years now. Considering how great this CD is, it is sort of surprising to see so few reviews here. My favorites here are "I'm Special", "With Open Arms", "Til You Come Back To Me", "Sentimental", "Could Have Fooled Me" and of course her standard with Will Downing "Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This". These songs define really define her style as well as this CD. Her sheer vocal skills remain unmatched by anyone today. She can do it all with her amazing voice. When it comes to sheer ability I truly believe Rachelle is the greatest singer alive today. Some may have "prettier" voices, but I haven't heard anyone that can match her ability. Despite all this raw talent she goes virtually unnoticed today. Someone with this type of talent shouldn't have to be sought out, she should be headlining! Rachelle does take her time between albums though. She is also one of the few artists to have had both a contract with an R&B label and a Jazz label at the same time. Also check out here latest studio album (Individuality - Can I Be Me?) I've had the chance to see her live and trust me she is unbelievable. I would really like to see her and Will Downing do an album together. Will is one of the few guys that has the refinement and ability to keep up with her. I really can't say enough about Rachelle. This CD is an absolute must.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 2/1/2006

Libra Toni Braxton
Libra (2005) 4.2 stars
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4 starsReturn to Form....
I really wasn't expecting much from this CD, so I quite surprised upon first hearing it. Toni is pretty convincing here. My favorites are "Please", "Midnite" and "Stupid". Also check out "What's Good", "Take This Ring", and "Finally". It is really nice to get a solid CD from her after some really disappointing ones. I’m still captivated by her voice, husky, but very clear. She’s occupies that league with the likes of Anita Baker and Lalah Hathaway. Toni hasn’t had the easiest of times in the last few years in neither her private life or with her music career so I’m pulling for this one to be a hit. She and the CD both deserve it.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 1/9/2006

Breakthrough Mary J. Blige
Breakthrough (2005) 4.5 stars
CD $11.99 Buy It  Details

4 starsMary is back!
I have come to realize that “What’s the 411?” and “My Life” days are over, and that we’ll likely never get another album from her on the level of those first two. That said, this CD is a winner. Mary hits back hard with this one. Immediately, four songs stand out - "Take Me As I Am", "Baggage", "Can't Get Enough", and "Father In You". “Father In You” is so heartfelt, while “Baggage” is a successful attempt at giving us some vintage Mary J. Blige. “Can’t Get Enough” is just splendid as is “Take Me As I Am”. Overall this CD seems to be similar in concept to the "Mary" CD from 1999, very mature and well constructed, unlike her last two releases which seemed rushed. Ok, there are some other noteworthy songs here too: "Be Without You", "I Found My Everything", and "Alone". I really like “Alone” until Dave Young (who is he?) starts singing, he nearly kills the song for me. I can do without “MJB Da MVP” though, except for the little melody of “What’s 411?” songs. I’ve noticed that her voice is even more controlled this time around. Welcome back Mary!!!
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 12/30/2005

20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of One Way One Way
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of One Way (2005) 3.5 stars Remastered
CD $9.25 Buy It  Details
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4 starsFinally!
Finally the song "Don't Stop" is released in the U.S. on CD! That along with the other hits here like: "Cutie Pie", "You Get the Best From Me", "You can Do It" make this CD a worthwhile purchase for the One Way fan.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 12/1/2005 Verified Buyer

Subject Dwele
Subject (2003) 4.7 stars Top Seller
CD $9.15 Buy It  Details

5 starsSmooth.....
I posted a review on this CD before I realized how good it really is. I'm upgrading my review to 5 stars for this CD now. In my first review I missed two very brilliant songs - "Kick Outta U" and "Subject". Does this guy bring it or what? I mean he really is Neo Soul for real, but he mangages to be different and posses his own style, not an easy thing to pull off in such a stellar group of artist that define the Neo Soul niche. In addition to two songs I mentioned above also check out "The Truth", "Twuneanunda", "Sho' Ya Right", "A.N.G.E.L.", "Without U", "Lady Of Mahogany", and "Let Your Hair Down".
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/29/2005 Verified Buyer

In Between the Heartaches Phyllis Hyman
In Between the Heartaches (2003) 4.9 stars
CD $21.19 Buy It  Details

5 starsExpensive, but worth it...
Here you have some of the rare and hard to find Phyllis Hyman recordings. I took a chance with this one on price and because I wasn't familiar with all of the songs here. Turns out I made a great find with this one. Right away I was struck by "Do you Love Him" and "In Between the Heartaches". Phyllis had one of those rare voices that always sounded live and so full of soul. Also check out "Sacred Kind Of Love", another hard to find song. The song from the School Daze (1988) soundtrack is also here, "Be One". I still remember her in the moving singing it. So elegant. Check out "Magic Mona", "Don't Tell Me Tell Her", "Soon Come Again", and Sleep On It. This is a CD for the serious Phyllis Hyman fan as no Phyllis Hyman collection is complete without it.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/29/2005 Verified Buyer

Subject Dwele
Subject (2003) 4.7 stars Top Seller
CD $9.15 Buy It  Details

4 starsRefreshing........
This guy has a very refreshing and mellow style that is somewhat similar to Musiq or Donell Jones. "Subject" has become one of my favorite CDs in a very short period of time because it is so subtle and laid-back. Favorites are "Twuneanunda" and "A.N.G.E.L." and "Let Your Hair Down". Also listen to: "The Truth", "Sho' Ya Right", "Without U", and "Lady Of Mahogany". The whole CD is very chill-mode for sure and is worthy of being added to your collection.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/18/2005 Verified Buyer

Fever for da Flavor H-Town
Fever for da Flavor (1993) 4.4 stars
CD $12.09 Buy It  Details

5 starsH-Town
Lets go back to the early 90's for a moment. You had Boyz II Men, Jodeci and H-Town (among others). Guess which one was my favoite? H-Town for sure. The lead in particular had a very strong and unique voice. This was the CD that started it all for them. The hits here are endless, but my three favorites are "Knockin' Da Boots", "Keepin' My Composure", and "Won't U Come Back". This group stayed pretty consistant for the next 2 CDs. I haven't had the chance to hear their last CD (2004) yet. Tragically this latest release might be their last.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/16/2005

Got To Be Real: The Best Of Cheryl Lynn Cheryl Lynn
Got To Be Real: The Best Of Cheryl Lynn (1996) 4.6 stars
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5 starsGood to Reminisce!
In my mind Cheryl Lynn is one of the greatest, but underrated singers of her time. When this style of music lost favor she faded away, but fear not some of her best work is right here! Of course everyone knows about "Got To Be Real", but also check out "Shake It Up Tonight", "Day after Day", "Believe In Me", "If This World Were Mine" (of course), "Encore", and "It's Gonna Be Right". Why she wasn't asked to contribute to the Luther Vandross All-Star Tribute CD is beyond me. She and someone like Will Downing or Gerald Levert could have covered "If This World Were Mine" with ease and it would have been much closer to the original recording.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/10/2005

Diary Of Alicia Keys Diary Of Alicia Keys (2003) 4.6 stars
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4 starsPure Talent
Let me start by saying I have nothing but the utmost respect for this girl's talent, but I'm not crazy about her "style" shall we say. I posted a review on this CD a while ago, closer to when it came out and it was more or less a knew-jerk reaction. I have since come to like this CD a lot more, hence my updated review. I still wish she was more of a R&B singer instead of the "soul" or more blues (than rhythm) sound I constantl hear from here. The "sound" or "style" that I like to hear from here is best displayed on "You Don't Know My Name", "Diary" and to a somewhat lesser degree "If I Ain't Got You". She sounds best on those in my opinion. Whil I like "Karma", "If I Was Your Woman / Walk On By", and "Wake Up", she really isn't at her best vocally on those songs. I'd like to hear a softer Alica Keys sometimes instead of the hard, bluesy sounds she seems to prefer. That said, there is no denying here talent. She is somewhat unique in the industry at the moment. This CD is definitely worth the purchase.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/9/2005

Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum Sounds Of Blackness
Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum (1994) 4 stars
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5 starsUplifting of the early Sounds of Blackness CDs, and likely their best. Ann Nesby shines through on songs like: "I'm Going All The Way", and "I Believe". Also listen for "Everything Is Gonna Be Alright", "The Lord Will Make A Way", and "He Took Away All My Pain". Now my favorite song here is "A Place in My Heart". Such a moving song, again showcasing the power of Ann Nesby's sweet voice. It is the highlight of this grand CD. Also check out "A Very Special Love" and "Black Butterfly". This is a must purchase CD!
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/8/2005

Collection: 1991-1998 Mint Condition
Collection: 1991-1998 (1998) 4.8 stars Definitive Album
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5 starsGreat Collection
Every one of the hits that made them a fixture of the 90's is here. This CD is a must for the R&B lover and more importantly for those who like to hear an actual band. You know real instruments and such. Nothing like it. This is one of the few groups that emerged from the early 90's that features and actual band. A major plus in my book. Want to hear what I'm talking about? Listen to "So Fine" and you'll know instantly that these guys are true musicians. Too many hits here for me to pick out a "favorite", but if I had to pick it would likely be "So Fine" simply because it didn't get the airplay like "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" and "U Send Me Swinging ", which is what established them in the hearts of real music lovers in the 90's. Wait it gets better, they have a new CD out now (2005), it is likely their best ever single recording. Get this and their new one and you're good to go and up to day on a band that really is in "Mint Condition".
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/8/2005

Greatest Hits BeBe & CeCe Winans
Greatest Hits (1996) 4.5 stars Definitive Album
CD $10.29 Buy It  Details

5 starsExcellent Collection
Here are all the songs that made them such a hot duo back in the eighties and early nineties. Favorites: "Lost Without You" and "I.O.U. Me". It is possible for me to still get teary eyed listening to " Lost Without You", such a thought provoking/moving song for me. Also, "Addictive Love", "Feels Like Heaven (With You)", "It's O.K.". "Heaven", "If Anything Ever Happened To You", and of course "I'll Take You There" with Mavis Staples. This is one for the collection for sure.
Submitted by a reviewer (Aurora, IL, USA) 11/8/2005

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