Too Hot to Sleep

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Many overlook the fact that Sylvester was as much of a soul artist as he was a disco artist, what with his gospel roots and his ability to wrap his voice around a slow, deliberate arrangement. That's a shame, since there are soul-loving disco haters who simply avoid Sylvester's records for his disco connections, not to mention his sexual orientation. He was one of the most versatile artists of his time, singing deeply and sensually ("Thinking Right") one moment and then reaching up for a type of falsetto that will either cause your goose pimples to rise or make you run for shelter ("Can't You See"). Too Hot to Sleep is one of his most refined and laid-back albums, a consistent but unremarkable one that puts a spotlight on his crooning (best heard on his version of "Ooo Baby Baby"). The problem with this record is that it seems too much like a compromise. It's lacking in personality and hardly captures all of what makes Sylvester Sylvester. [Fantasy reissued this album in 1999 and combined it with 1977's Sylvester; Too Hot to Sleep was retained as the title.]

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