Picks and Pans Review: Release Some Tension

UPDATED 09/29/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/29/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

SWV

Looking to land on R&B's hit list? The formula is a cinch: Invite a flavor-of-the-moment producer (Sean "Puffy" Combs or Timbaland will do) and a guest rapper (like Snoop Doggy Dogg or Foxy Brown) into the studio and—voilà!—guaranteed airplay. SWV (Sisters With Voices) don't buck the trend on their third full-length album, a disc so loaded with power players (all of the above and many more) that the threesome easily could have come off as visitors on their own turf. Yet they don't. One of R&B's few female vocal groups with a distinct sound—slightly askew, light-as-air harmonies on top of buoyant melodies—SWV are energized by their guest stars. The trio turns up the heat on sultry, snakily seductive tracks like "Can We" and the CD's title track without breaking a sweat. They're probably more interested in scoring multiplatinum sales than good lovin', but they earn the right to both. (RCA)

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