Coming off a successful though problematic tenure with Arista, Phyllis Hyman signed with Philadelphia International shortly after the label switched from CBS to Capitol. Like Shirley Jones' 1986 album Always in the Mood, Living All Alone typified the synth-based but still melodic mid-to-late-'80s Philly sound. The producers and writers gave her an album's worth of instant-classic singer's songs. The album's first single, the bittersweet "You Just Don't Know," typified the powerful and classy proceedings. "First Time Together" also follows the same style. While Hyman's vocals are top-notch here, fans listening to Living All Alone can't help but be struck by the sense of melancholy apparent in the sessions. That's not true of the title track, an oddly sensual song that has her trademark fire, as she does some great vocalizations and screams, and seems to live the lyrics. The poignant Thom Bell and Linda Creed gem "Old Friend" quickly became a fan favorite. Although most of Living All Alone is emotionally draining, it's one of Hyman's finest efforts.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason Elias