“For Always” follows a similar groove of the single release, but the dreamy “That Was Then” takes precedence in my mind. The sensual, deep nature of Lalah Hathaway as a singer really comes to the fore on a number like this, and I feel that the likes of Rideout and co-writer Sandra St. Victor are well placed to showcase this for the beautiful, sexy Lady. Marcus Miller is unmistakeable on bass on the Lalah Hathaway produced and written KILLER “Learning To Swim”. This, musically, is a delightful mix of quiet storm soul and jazz and has an appeal to those who may – as I do – love the works of Joni Mitchell. Lyrically and musically strong, I feel that this is a hands-down winner. The guitar work is extremely captivating too, and if widely and openly played would attract her greater fandom from outside the R&B scene. No bad thing. “1 Mile” is a bit too contemporary for me, but isn't crass. Instead I prefer the Rideout / Patterson / Victor number “Little Girl”which again works on everything best about this sexy young Woman. For a drop-dead slice of jazzy soul check out “What Goes Around” which is perfectly paced and so suitable for her unique style. Intelligent lyrics, too. For me there is no “If U Ever” of “Boston” on here BUT the album flows and is, as such, more consistent.
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