Sister Sledge

African Eyes

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One of Sister Sledge's finest achievements came in 1997, when the Philadelphia siblings recorded the overlooked African Eyes. While Sister Sledge had long since passed its commercial peak, this CD made it clear that the group still had a lot to say musically. Reflective and highly spiritual, African Eyes often recalls Earth, Wind & Fire's '70s output and sometimes combines soul and funk with elements of world music. In fact, the uplifting tone of "World Rise & Shine," "The Unraveling" and "Walking in the Light" gives you an idea what Sister Sledge might have sounded like if the sisters had worked with Maurice White in the late '70s instead of various Philadelphia producers and Chic leaders Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. Some of the material, however, isn't EW&F-ish, but instead, offers an unlikely blend of R&B and folk. Folk-ish touches find their way to "Love's Abyss" and "Cry for Soweto," a beautiful reflection on the political evolution of South Africa. But as much as African Eyes has going for it, the album was ignored by mainstream radio and failed to do very much commercially. In fact, it's safe to say that the vast majority of listeners who bought We Are Family and All American Girls didn't even hear about this album's release.

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