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July 25, 2024

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SWV (Sisters With Voices)
Release Some Tension

By: Sylvia White

Sisters With Voices' (SWV) latest release entitled "Release Some Tension" is quite noteworthy. I personally have slept on this album for the past three months. I brought it in one of my many CD shopping spree rushes which seem to over take all of my senses every two to three months. Call me a music fiend if ya' like! Well, I purchased the CD, along with some other rather noteworthy material of 1997 and I only recently popped the seal on the disc. The only reason I even opened the dang thing at all was because I had heard the song "Lose My Cool" the night before and Redman's rough, rugged vocals left me dying to hear it again. When I began to listen to this CD, I thought to myself, "Shoot, this thing sounds worthy of a regular place on my turntable, not to mention a review.

I must say that this CD is choked full of some of the biggest names in the Hip Hop arena. Within the 12 tracks that are on the CD, there are few if any that are not complete in form, each song adds phlavor to the mix. They somehow managed to wrangle, Sean "Puffy" Combs of Bad Boy fame, Lil' Kim, Lil Caesar (both Bad Boy brats), Redman, Foxy Brown, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, E-40, and not to mention the oh-so smooth Snoop Doggy Dogg.

The release that first caught my ear was the funky smooth, "Someone" which is produced by and as well features a cool rap by Puff Daddy. From my initial observation of this groove I was into it, bopping my head and vibing off of the words. Coko's vocals here are just as smooth as they need to be. This is one of my favorites off the entire collection and if you have heard it once then you know what I am talking about.

The title track off the album "Release Some Tension" which features, Foxy Brown has a "Missy Elliott feel" to it. It is reminiscent of Missy's latest song entitled, "Beep Me 911" with the stop-pull action of the kicks. It is a good groove with a nice flow on the sensual side of the musical realm.

Then comes THA' BOMB song that made me open the CD in the first place, "Lose My Cool" which features Redman dishing out some of his bombastic, hellacious, rough, rugged, and raw vocals that always leave me grinning. Redman's vocals on this track reminds me of the brotha's from the hood that step to you, kicking game that you are guaranteed to catch. Taj takes the initial lead on this track and proves to the naysayers that, yes, she can sing and she does have more than just a back up voice. Redman along with the mellow beat keep you listening longer in hopes of more tracks like it showing up as it skips over to track number 4. This song has got to be the smoothest joint on the album in my opinion.

The next track with potential to woo the listening audience is "Rain", on this track, the ladies take it down a notch and let go of the featured artists, thereby doing it solo. It is a well put together song that is somewhat tranquil due to the sound of rain dropping in the background. Very mellow and consistent with how the ladies can provide strong vocals when they take their time on a song.

There is "Can We", the initial track from "Release Some Tension", as well as one of many slammin' songs from the "Booty Call Soundtrack" . It is thrown into the mix and has Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott doing back up vocals as well as rhyming. It's playful yet direct wording is what made it a hit off of the soundtrack.

The next track that has potential to kick up a little dust is with, of course, none other than the "Queen Bee" Lil' Kim. On the track entitled, "Give It Up", she and the ladies of SWV get a bit funky. The bossy baseline and Kim's usual rugged lyrical strength which she throws into most of her rhymes, make it a "tell it like it is" sorta groove.

Those are the high points to the album, though there are a few more, I won't hold you any longer. The entire album is one to add to your collection most assuredly. Though they are not all overly original in syntax or wording, the beats are enough to make you hang around and take a second or third listen. This album I consider to be a usual 8 out of 10. With a little variation on a few of the tracks, it perhaps could have been a strong 8, regardless though, the album is still fun, flowing and one to make you move. Til later kids! Smooches.

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