Syleena Johnson

Chapter 3: The Flesh

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The third in Syleena Johnson's autobiographical series of albums, Chapter 3: The Flesh shows off more of Johnson's emotive, raspy-voiced style. From the provocative cover image to the album's song titles ("Special Occasion," "Phone Sex"), the subject matter of The Flesh is clear, yet it is Johnson's deeply bluesy, gospel-inflected delivery and the passionate conviction of her performances that make a lasting impression. Like Johnson's previous efforts, Chapter 3 bridges old-school soul of the '60s and '70s (think Betty Wright, Curtis Mayfield, and the Staple Singers) with an urban contemporary, hip-hop-inflected sound (aided by appearances from mega-stars R. Kelly, Common, Twista, and Anthony Hamilton), and the results satisfy on both counts.

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