Amy Linden
November 29, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Prime of My Life

Current Status
In Season
Phyllis Hyman

We gave it a C-

The recipe for Phyllis Hyman’s hit single, ”Don’t Wanna Change the World,” is simple: Take one respected and worthy pop/soul veteran who borders on the divaesque, hook her up with some suitably slammin? and fresh-funky new-jack backbeats, throw in a nondescript sotto voce rap and voila! Aging singer is suddenly hip for a younger audience who might not care or even notice that she can actually sing the pants off any bubble-gum fly girl. Hyman has a smoky, richly mature jazz-inflected voice, yet she sounds out and out lame pouting ”Just wanna be your girl” and faux-rapping, specially when another cut ”Prime of My Life,” is a veritable ode to the joys of getting older. Discounting the blatant commercial calculations that guided its creation — seamless production, I-will-survive bravado coupled with why-did-he-leave-this-good-love remorse — Prime of My Life is done with style and flair. But there?s really no discounting all that. If you?ve heard this sort of stuff before (and you have), you needn?t — despite Hyman?s embracingly warm yet concise voice — go back for seconds. C-

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