Vanessa Williams

The Sweetest Days

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The Sweetest Days Review

by Alex Henderson

More diverse than Vanessa Williams' two previous albums, Sweetest Days finds the singer exploring jazz-influenced songs without giving up the type of boring, radio-minded fluff that had enabled her to sell millions of albums. The CD's standout track is "Ellamental," an irresistible R&B/jazz/hip-hop tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. (Much to her credit, Williams was insightful enough to praise the jazz legend while she was still alive instead of waiting until after her death.) She's almost as appealing on "Sister Moon" (a torchy Sting gem) and the Babyface contributions "You Can't Run" (which has a Sade-ish quality) and the haunting "Betcha Never." But sadly, Williams doesn't hesitate to waste her talent on such contrived, hopelessly dull adult contemporary fluff as the title song -- a song that's every bit as clich├ęd and insipid as "Save the Best For Last."

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