Somewhere in My Lifetime

Phyllis Hyman

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Somewhere in My Lifetime Review

by Jason Elias

Somewhere in My Lifetime, Phyllis Hyman's second album (but her first for Arista), is similar to many of her efforts: a great singer, but too many so-so songs. The album starts off with a cover of Exile's disco/pop hit, "Kiss You All Over"; despite her best attempts, the horrible lyrics and the song's origins make this a waste of precious studio time. The lachrymose title-track ballad, produced by Barry Manilow and Ron Dante, finds Hyman's voice poorly recorded and placed into a schmaltzy arrangement. Still, the album features quite a few of the songs she came to be identified with: "The Answer Is You," "Gonna Make Changes," and Gary Glenn's "Be Careful (How You Treat My Love)," all skillfully produced by then-husband Larry Alexander and Skip Scarborough. The song "Be Careful" followed the Norman Connors example of providing Hyman with a sympathetic arrangement, then getting the best take possible. After all of the botched crossover attempts and so-so dance moves, Somewhere in My Lifetime ended on a good note. "Here's That Rainy Day" has her accompanied only by a piano, and she turns in an affecting performance, neither self-pitying nor melodramatic. Although this effort had a few career-threatening detours, Hyman's charisma and some solid songs make this a solid effort.

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