Picks and Pans Review: One Step Closer
Composer Brent Maher, taking over as Sylvia's producer for the first time, seems to have said to her, in effect, "Slow down, darlin', and let the people know how you feel." In any case, this album is filled with a far moodier, more introspective batch of country music than has been typical for Sylvia, who leaned toward easygoing ballads and gimmicky country pop tunes under previous producer Tom Collins. She brings off the change nicely, emoting away on such numbers as I Can't Help the Way That I Don't Feel, Breakin' It and True Blue. There's also a bouncy duet, I Love You by Heart, with the mellow-sounding Michael Johnson. Sylvia's intensity can get a trifle piercing at times, and softening her voice for this kind of down-tempo material seems to have generated a productively moderating effect. The album displays a new side of an established performer and accomplishes that in a most entertaining way. (RCA)
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