Picks and Pans Review: Alyson Williams
On her 1989 debut R&B album, Raw, Williams proved herself equally formidable amid new-jack and torch-ballad settings. Here, she settles into a mostly down-tempo groove, pouring plenty of soul into each syllable. Gliding gracefully from a throaty wail to a sensuous purr, she is every inch a singer's singer.
Once again Williams has love on her mind. She sings of starry-eyed bliss ("So Special" and "Heaven"), laments in a lost-him-to-my-best-friend weeper ("Everybody Knew But Me") and shreds the competition ("Can't Have My Man"), which she makes more warning than plea.
Alyson Williams is best when the singer ventures into jazzy, bluesy or even gospel-influenced terrain. Unfortunately the quiet-storm synthesized arrangements rob some songs of dimension, giving them an almost toylike quality. But when Williams makes such candid sexual demands as "Before you go to work, baby/ Make sure I'm fed" sound classy, you almost want to blame her producers for any shortcomings. (OBR/Columbia)