Spyro Gyra


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Artistically, Spyro Gyra hit an all-time low in the mid-1990s. The use of outside arrangers and pop vocalists had proven detrimental, and the band was sounding even more formulaic than usual on banal albums like 1995's Love and Other Obsessions. More self-contained and devoid of adult contemporary singing, 20/20 is a slight improvement. Though Spyro still sounds contrived and is hardly challenging, a few of the songs are somewhat likable, including the moody "The Unwritten Letter" and the angular "Rockaway to Sunset." Dave Samuels, once a full-time member, makes a guest appearance on the salsa-influenced "South American Sojourn" and the Brazilian-ish "Dark-Eyed Lady" -- both of which, although pleasant enough, aren't nearly as interesting as the music he'd been creating in the Caribbean Jazz Project. And, not surprisingly, fluffy "elevator muzak" such as "Together" sounds like it was designed for only one purpose: radio airplay.

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