SWV

New Beginning

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As a title, New Beginning may be something of an overstatement -- after all, it is only SWV's second album. Nevertheless, the group does take a different approach on New Beginning, backing away from the New Jack grooves that dominated their debut and exploring a more direct, organic R&B vibe. They haven't left hip-hop behind, but they've added a new array of sonic textures that gives their music added depth. But the true strength of New Beginning is the vocal capabilities of SWV -- they can handle smooth soul like "Don't Waste Your Time" as easily as the funk of "Whatcha Need." There may be a couple of weak spots on the album, but the trio's considerable talents make those moments easy to forgive.

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