Nayobe

Nayobe

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In the 1980s, the Latin freestyle genre was full of attractive artists who couldn't sing-they had catchy grooves and looked good in a video, but they had thin voices and gave no indication that they were capable of depth. Or, to put it another way, they were perfect examples of style over substance. But that was hardly the case with Nayobe, who had an impressive vocal range and a lot of charm and charisma to go with it. In fact, the Cuban-American sings her head off on this self-titled debut album, which came out in 1986. Nayobe was only 16 when her first single, "Please Don't Go," became a club hit in 1984, but she was old enough to vote by the time Fever/Sutra released this vinyl LP two years later. Although Nayobe has its share of infectious, Latin-influenced dance-pop (including "Please Don't Go," "Second Chance for Love" and the single "Good Things Come to Those Who Wait"), the singer doesn't limit herself to dance music. The slow jam "Guess I Fell in Love" is pure northern soul, and "I Don't Have to Make Believe" would have been at home on a Phyllis Hyman album. Those numbers were obviously meant to send out a message that Nayobe had strong R&B chops and didn't want to be a dance diva 100% of the time. But unfortunately, Nayobe didn't broaden her audience the way it should have. The Bronx native didn't become a big name in the R&B and pop markets, and most of the people who acquired this good to excellent LP were hardcore club hounds.

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