Syl’s Combo 2022
Independent (release date: 2022)
By Robert M. Marovich
For as often as I’ve heard Chicago gospel singer Sylvia Fedrick, it didn’t strike me until listening to her EP Syl’s Combo 2022 that if you close your eyes, you would swear you are listening to a male high tenor like Maxwell or Prince.
The best example of this is the opening (and the EP’s best) track, “Miracles.” To a relaxed but soulful groove, Fedrick offers her testimony to show that miracles do happen. And if you do, she sings, “come and receive your miracle.”
Practicing self-love is the theme of “Shine,” a woman-to-woman discussion about the importance of empowerment. If you care for yourself, if you let your little light shine, you can care better for others, too. The arrangement, like the whole EP, has a ‘90s throwback vibe.
It wouldn’t be a Syl Fedrick combo without one “gospel glide” track, and indeed, the EP ends with her 2014 selection with the Alley Cats, “What He Has Done for You.” It has an old-school hip hop feel, as in way back in the Sugarhill Gang and Doug E Fresh era.
No matter the style, Sylvia Fedrick puts her best foot forward on this less-is-more package.
Three of Five Stars