Read It In My Eyes is the best song on Dawn’s criminally ignored debut album because it allows her to show her vulnerable side. Dawn is well known for the sass, the attitude, the slightly rocker chick element she brought to En Vogue, but she’s most compelling when she’s vulnerable. En Vogue only used her one time in such a way (on the Born to Sing bonus track Waiting On You).
The song, about the fear that expressing love can bring, gives Dawn an opportunity to show how versatile a singer she really is. She conveys the emotion with a delicate touch to the phrasing that is very precise, but wonderfully expressive. She’s slight and almost airy at the beginning as she tentatively expresses her feelings, but as the song builds she uses her chest voice to capture a growing sense of empowerment. Dawn’s vocal performance here shows us again that she’s one of the best vocal stylists in black pop.
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