Sybil

Doin' It Now!

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    6
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A lengthy set spanning a variety of urban contemporary sounds, Sybil's fourth full-length effort continues to stray further from her club/dance roots into the R&B vein. The results are mixed, with standouts such as "You're the Love of My Life" and "Take Me Back" showing off her vocal ability within melodious contexts, and weaker entries like "We" and "When It's Gone Away" lagging with uninteresting arrangements. Several tracks from 1989's Sybil and 1990's Sybilization are included, presumably to interest listeners in those earlier efforts. These don't contribute anything vital to the continuity of the set, but don't get in the way either. High points lie in the set's two dance numbers, "Guarantee of Love" and "The Love I Lost," a vibrant, disco-styled cover of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' 1973 classic. In both instances, Sybil's high-energy delivery is soulful, spirited, and commanding. The fact that she doesn't resort to over the top belting or exaggerated cooing like many divas in the dance vein makes her presence here unique. On many of the set's slower tunes, that uniqueness doesn't shine through as much. Perhaps better production and more consistent material would remedy the problem.

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