Sandra St. Victor
I don’t like being in cages/ Just let me be outrageous,” Sandra St. Victor pleads with an insensitive lover early on her solo debut album. But she could easily be addressing listeners who can’t get a grip on her ever-changing musical moods. As vocalist for the Family Stand, the now-defunct trio that scored a huge R&B hit in 1990 with “Ghetto Heaven,” the singer couldn’t decide whether to wring soulful emotion from her songs or wail like a possessed rock and roll mama.
On Mack Diva Saves the World, she gets low-down and funky on “Chocolate,” grooves to the hip-hop swing of “Rise” and wallows in the blues of “Knocked Up and Locked Down.” But even while indulging her vocal whimsy, St. Victor displays a coolly seductive self-possession here that makes this the most unified and satisfying set of music she’s recorded. (Warner Bros.)