Shirley Brown

The Soul of a Woman

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Shirley Brown scored back in the day with "Woman to Woman," but she's hardly past her prime; in fact, this soulful, gritty collection proves most definitely that Ms. Brown is in her stride. Producers Wolf Stephenson, Bobby Manual, Richard Cason, and Shirley herself help make this 11-track CD a force to be reckoned with -- one devastating, deep-soul drama after another. The first track, "Why You Want to Love Me Like That," is so satisfying you'll take awhile to hear the rest of the CD, 'cause you'll keep repeating this track. Buoyed by the Muscle Shoals Horns and a crack rhythm section, Brown's bell-clear vocals could stir the dead. There isn't a loser in the bunch; especially inviting are "Female Player," "Don't Go Lookin' for My Man" (which includes a rap), "You Left a Good Woman for a Good Time," and "I Caught You With Your Pants Down." As Ken Hawkins, a DJ in Cleveland during the '60s, used to say, "if you don't like this, you got a hole in your soul."

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