Alicia Myers - Peace of Mind

Alicia Myers
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Alicia Myers has lived a real life since the spotlight from her time as a member of One Way and her respectable career as a singer of tunes such as “I Want to Thank You” and “If You Play Your Cards Right” receded. She worked office jobs, primarily in the medical field – even returning to school to beef up her skills in medical transcription. Myers underwent treatment for breast cancer and now devotes herself to the cause fighting the disease by working with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and encouraging black women to stay on top of their health. With real life intervening on a regular basis, Myers didn’t have a lot of time to get back into the music business full time. Myers told a Jet magazine interviewer that she performs occasionally in her hometown of Detroit. Apparently, the itch to create was still there, and this year Myers decided to scratch it by releasing an album titled Peace of Mind.

Alicia Myers has lived a real life since the spotlight from her time as a member of One Way and her respectable career as a singer of tunes such as “I Want to Thank You” and “If You Play Your Cards Right” receded. She worked office jobs, primarily in the medical field – even returning to school to beef up her skills in medical transcription. Myers underwent treatment for breast cancer and now devotes herself to the cause fighting the disease by working with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and encouraging black women to stay on top of their health. With real life intervening on a regular basis, Myers didn’t have a lot of time to get back into the music business full time. Myers told a Jet magazine interviewer that she performs occasionally in her hometown of Detroit. Apparently, the itch to create was still there, and this year Myers decided to scratch it by releasing an album titled Peace of Mind.

The album’s sound will be recognizable to anyone familiar with Myers from her time making funky dance music with Al Hudson or as Anita Baker’s predecessor as the princess of the Motor City’s jazz infused R&B. Myers is clearly in her comfort zone when driving in the smooth lane. The jazz ballad “Stay” melts like butter when Myers applies her smoky vocals to the lyrics. The 1981 song “If You Play Your Cards Right,” showed the Myers has a jazz singer’s sensibility when in comes to rendering vocals that are both understandable and intimate. Unfortunately, “Stay” is the only track on Peace of Mind in which we hear those skills applied to a ballad. Myers gives us a few dance tracks. “Weekend” is an up-tempo party anthem that sports a funky bass line and a catchy hook. Youth oriented artists have annexed the party anthem, and that makes sense to a point. They’re young and have the time and disposable income to hang out. However, there have been some pretty memorable party anthems made by grown folks – can anybody say Bell and James – and Myers mines that vein with this song. The song’s lyrics remind listeners that if anyone needs to go out on a Saturday night, it’s somebody with a job and kids (especially teenaged kids). Good tune, although I thought the ‘ain’t no party like a weekend party’ chant was a bit of overkill.

On “Fancy Dancer” Myers seeks to recapture some of that One Way vibe, but the effort falls flat under clichéd lyrics that has the listener visualizing images from every dance floor song made between 1976 and 1979. That miss aside, Peace of Mind is a solid comeback effort for Myers that will hopefully lead to some dates outside of the Motor City and future projects. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 
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