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You Know How to Love Me

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Album Review

As a vocalist even at this point, Phyllis Hyman was one of R&B and pop's most charming, talented, and affecting singers. Released in 1979, You Know How to Love Me was Hyman's' first full-fledged Arista effort. It was produced by James Mtume and Reggie Lucas, who had previously wrote gems for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway and did great production jobs for Stephanie Mills, and they made a great fit for Hyman. The title song personified the unaffected and fresh sound of their production style and became Hyman's biggest single. Although known for her maturity, You Know How to Love Me contrasted with her other work is often blithe and unforced, with a "girlishness" she often didn't exhibit. The melodic "Some Way" captured a clarity and sexiness in her voice that no other producers captured. That also helps the derivative tracks "Heavenly" and "Hold On" to coast on the sensual qualities of her voice. "But I Love You" is one of her finest and most understated ballads. The last track and the best of the songs Hyman picked out for the album, the soothing "Complete Me," features Gary Bartz's sax solos. Although You Know How to Love Me had been available as an import, in 2002 Arista/BMG Heritage reissued the album with a 1977 bonus cut included. The original Mtume- and Lucas-produced tracks on the effort remain some of Hyman's strongest.


Born: 06 July 1949 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Phyllis Hyman began her career as a silky voiced, jazz-influenced singer and gradually moved into slick, heavily produced urban contemporary ballads and light dance numbers. Hyman won a scholarship to music school and then began her professional career with the group New Direction in 1971. When they disbanded after a national tour, Hyman joined the Miami ensemble All the People. She also worked there with another local group, the Hondo Beat, and appeared in the film Lenny. That was followed by a...
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You Know How to Love Me, Phyllis Hyman
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