SWV I Missed Us
Release Date: 2012
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0.0 log0fan1 | November 14th 12

I Missed Us doesn't sound like the work of a group that went 15 years without releasing a studio album. For their first proper studio set since 1997's Release Some Tension, SWV signed with eOne and worked extensively with Cainon Lamb (aka Lamb), co-producer of Keyshia Cole's "Let It Go," Jazmine Sullivan's "Need U Bad," Monica's "Everything to Me," and Beyoncé's "Countdown." Looking at that broad mix of contemporary songs from exceptional female R&B artists, it's obvious that Lamb and SWV are well suited for one another. Lamb wrote and produced the album's first nine songs; he seems to have approached the women as if they don't have a history and have no expectations beyond delivering a high-quality 2012 R&B album. What throwback twists exist -- like the Bob James sample in "All About You" and the use of Rufus & Chaka Khan's disco-funk classic "Do You Love What You Feel" in "Do Ya" -- have nothing to do with attempting to relive SWV's past. In fact, the only aspect that resembles the past is the women's voices. There are some impeccable arrangements, best heard on the confrontational and seductive "Better Than I" (also a trunk rattler) and the theatrical ballad "Keep You Home." The four songs with other collaborators almost seem like bonus tracks, given the strength of the 34-minute Lamb portion, but they don't sound all that out of place. A stormy cover of Patti LaBelle's hit 1983 ballad "If Only You Knew" puts an exclamation point on one of the best comeback albums of the last decade.

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