Picks and Pans Review: Living All Alone
Consider Phyllis Hyman's résumé: She's a veteran of hundreds of cabaret dates with five LPs already under her belt. She won a Tony nomination for her performance of Duke Ellington standards in Broadway's Sophisticated Ladies, doing an impossibly hard-swinging rendition of It Don't Mean a Thing. She's got the flexibility it takes to record with artists from Barry Manilow to pianist McCoy Tyner. Her big, strapping voice has put the pow behind half a dozen national commercials. Given those credentials, Hyman's sixth LP is a disappointment. Eight of its nine tracks are slow and easygoing, pop-soul love songs. The title track offers a hint of her amazing vocal control, which comfortably ranges by turns between powerful, smoky tones and a big, brassy blare. The six-foot chanteuse could also give more than a few pointers on how to articulate lyrics clearly. But the opening cut sets an unvarying sentimental mood that grows tiresome by the end of the album. She needs to find more challenging material. (Philadelphia International)
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