Sister Sledge

The Sisters

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Keeping to their regular routine of releasing an album a year, Sister Sledge emerged in 1982 with The Sisters, their first self-produced effort. Keeping their disco-fied R&B in place, the sisters added a few contemporary kicks to hold their own in a decade fast leaving them behind. The move proved correct, as the group was rewarded with another Top 20 hit. The punchy, horn-heavy, and lightly funky "Super Bad Sisters" not only opens the album in fine style, but also adds a surprising sonic update via a rap from Kenneth and James Williams. Following that feat, though, the rest of the set settles down to soft-edged R&B and mediocre ballads. A less-than-stellar remake of the Mary Wells classic "My Guy" managed to reach number 14 R&B, while a passable duet between Kathy Sledge and David Simmons actually emerges as one of The Sisters' best moments. "Jacki's Theme: There's No Stopping Us," meanwhile, brought the set to a close with its quirky, snap-happy disco grooves. At the end of the day, and despite the fact that it's obvious that the band was still full of good ideas, The Sisters just doesn't reach its full potential. It could be that the band was too far out of its time and place, or that it just didn't have enough oomph to keep its edge, or perhaps it just suffered from production jitters. But ultimately, there are far finer ways to sample the remarkable talents of this R&B powerhouse.

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