Issued three years after Phyllis Hyman's death, Forever With You collects 12 unreleased songs recorded between 1985-1995, during her tenure with Philadelphia International. Not a single track on this set sounds like filler -- the whole album is comprised of well-produced, elegant, and sophisticated songs, running a gamut of musical styles, and further showcases the loss that the music world suffered with Hyman's tragic passing. The album opens with the upbeat, Latin-tinged title track, and then heads into quiet storm territory with "Funny How Love Goes" (a duet with newcomer Damon), "Come Right or Not at All," "The Strength of a Woman," and her faithful cover of the Stylistics' "Hurry Up This Way Again." The album veers into left gear with the energetic house track "How Long," which works incredibly well and, had things gone differently, could have opened up a whole different market for Hyman. "Someone to Love," the greatest torch song Barbra Streisand never recorded, is a definite album highlight, and brings to mind the music of classic Hollywood films of the 1940s. Hyman tackles hip-hop lite with "Tell Me What You're Gonna Do," provides a socially conscious quiet storm ballad with "The Kids," and vamps coyly on the sexy "Set a Little Trap," another album highlight. This set closes with the shuffling, hip-hop-laced "No One but You" and the soaring ballad "Souvenirs." Forever With You, which also includes several songs co-written by Hyman, is a must for any fan, and sounds like an actual, cohesive set, as opposed to a compilation of rarities and unreleased material. As always, however, the star is Hyman's tortured, elegant, and ferocious voice, and the unparalleled conviction that she injects into each song. Another four-star set from the great, regal Sophisticated Lady.
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AllMusic Review by Jose F. Promis