Angela Winbush

The Real Thing

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In the late 1980s, thin-voiced females who couldn't sing were quite prevalent in the urban contemporary arena. But thankfully, singers like Meli'sa Morgan, Vesta Williams and Angela Winbush were around to remind us that big-voiced belters still had a place in R&B. Originally part of the duo Rene & Angela, Winbush went solo in 1987 and formed a lucrative partnership with husband-to-be Ronald Isley. Winbush's input proved beneficial on the Isley Brothers' albums, and vice versa. Although Winbush (whose emotive singing is along the lines of Chaka Khan and Alicia Myers) does all of the composing, producing and arranging on her second solo album, The Real Thing, Isley serves as executive producer. And his influence is very noticeable on the electro-funk of "No More Tears" and "It's the Real Thing," as well as softer, more relaxed cuts like "Please Bring Your Love Back," "Precious" and "Menage A Trois" (which isn't an ode to kinky sex, but a call for monogamy and fidelity). For all its slickness and high-tech production gloss, this is an album with plenty of soul and grit.

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