ALLMUSIC.COM REVIEW OF STRONGER FOR IT

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Janiva Magness hasn’t recorded any of her own compositions since she cut “Good Car” on It Takes One to Know One, her 1997 debut. Here she makes up for lost time with three compelling co-writes with producer David Darling. The tunes are some of the most potent on an album with no shortage of powerful material. There’s a hint of Stax in the arrangement of “There It Is,” the nasty kiss-off that opens the set. Darling’s gritty guitar and Matt Teco’s drums provide an ominous stomping rhythm to set off Magness’ snarling vocal. When she sings, “I never thought I’d wanna hurt a man so bad,” it sends chills down your spine. “I Won’t Cry” visits the same heartbroken territory, but with a quiet intensity. Magness dips into her throaty mid-range to profess, “I get cut and I might bleed, but I won’t cry.” It’s a great tag line supported by Darling’s simmering lead and haunting B-3 by Arlan Oscar. “Whistling in the Dark” delivers more simmering Southern soul as Magness delivers the tale of a long-suffering spouse who knows the truth, but is unable to leave the relationship. Read More

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