Why Can't All Men Be Like Babyface?

Babyface--the man who can make everyone's husband or boyfriend look like an insensitive lout--expresses some of the most romantically correct sentiments in R&B.; There might be more genteel and convincingly debonair fellows in soul music, but no one comes immediately to mind.

This ballad-intensive album is long on the soothing, roses-and-candlelight romanticism that sets him apart from most of his hip-hop-oriented compatriots. "Every Time I Close My Eyes" is a particularly lovely declaration of devotion, while "All Day Thinkin' " is one of this record's few concessions to funk-conscious revelry. And even when Babyface gets funky, he's always so gentlemanly about it.

There is a certain niche in R&B; that he fills quite nicely. In a genre where many expressions of love and commitment require a parental-guidance sticker, spiritually stated songs such as "The Day (That You Gave Me a Son)" are rare.

OK, maybe they're a bit sappy too, but that's just one more element of Babyface's debonair charm.


Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).

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