Picks and Pans Review: Soulflower

updated 03/01/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/01/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

En Vogue

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En Vogue has never been the same since the funkiest diva, Dawn Robinson, left the influential R&B girl group in 1997 to pursue a solo career. Also missing from the act's new disc is original member Maxine Jones, who has been replaced with singer-actress Rhona Bennett (The Jamie Foxx Show). Un-fortunately there's nothing on this come-back attempt that can touch early-'90s En Vogue hits like "Hold On," "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" and "Free Your Mind." Despite some mediocre material, though, it's still good to hear those tight vocal arrangements and gorgeous harmonies again. Their voices shine on numbers like the club-ready single "Ooh Boy" and the sumptuous slow jam "Careful." After famously remaking "Giving Him Something He Can Feel" on 1992's Funky Divas, En Vogue pays homage to another Curtis Mayfield classic, "Let's Do It Again," on the breezily soulful "Everyday." Even so, one hopes that Robinson will return soon and truly bring this group back into vogue.


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