Sylvia Robinson

Sylvia Goes Reggae!

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This budget four-track EP consists of two songs newly recorded by Sylvia for the release and two reggae-tailored efforts from her 1977 Lay It on Me LP. "Rastaman" and a cover of Johnny Nash's "Rock Me Baby" find the artist in reasonable vocal form -- if lacking the coy demeanor and erotic spark she delivered in her heyday. However, the production lacks substance and meanders somewhat aimlessly. The '77 tracks -- a cover of "Love Is Strange" (originally a number one R&B hit by the artist in 1956 as part of Mickey & Sylvia) and "Stop Boy" -- have stood the test of time well. They sound just as funky and vibrant two decades later, thanks to their nifty instrumental structure and nicely layered vocals. For Sylvia devotees, this release serves as an interesting collection addition -- especially as it's her only release post-1982. Merely curious onlookers, though, are better advised to dig into one of the best-of collections covering the sultry siren's '70s output.

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