Amy Keys

Lover's Intuition

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Recalling predecessors Anita Baker and Miki Howard, Washington, D.C.-born vocalist Amy Keys carved a niche for herself as one of R&B's femme balladeer specialists with this sensuous collection. Unfortunately, she failed to achieve either Baker or Howard's level of commercial success, but it certainly wasn't for lack of talent. Keys' deep, rich tone drives such powerful ballads as the dramatic "Crazy Love" (later recorded by Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross, Ada Dyer, and Sheena Easton) and the pleading "Has It Come to This," this set's third single. Selections like "Even Now," "A Man and a Woman," and the hook-smart title track (from the Gregory Hines flick Tap) are also quite lovely, and prove that a ballad-heavy album need not be boring. Only two of the tracks here are true up-tempo numbers, and ironically they're the sleepiest songs on the album. Notewise, though, Keys' range is quite flexible: She uses a husky, masculine tone on "I Know What's Good for You," while floating in the upper registers for "Even Now."

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