Sheila E.

Sex Cymbal

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Seven years after Sheila E. burst upon the scene with her Top Ten single "The Glamorous Life," the talented percussionist's fourth release, Sex Cymbal, reflects the sound of successful, late-'80s artists like Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. It's a solid mix of pop/R&B ballads like the pretty (if unspectacular) "Loverboy" and more dance-oriented tracks. The title track is a slinky come-on and Sheila E. leads her band through a horn-laden version of "Lady Marmalade." The musicianship is not-surprisingly strong and there are a couple cool instrumental jams. Sex Cymbal is a sure-footed, groove-oriented album, but it lacks anything as memorable as her earlier hits.

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