Brian McKnight has been fairly prolific since his self-titled debut, releasing a new album exactly every two years since the early ‘90s and moonlighting as a producer on debuts by the likes of Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake, but I’ve yet to review a single album by the R&B crooner. 2003’s U Turn was so nondescript, filled with the kind of faceless R&B that sells millions but does little to resurrect a genre increasingly eclipsed by hip-hop, that I couldn’t find anything to say about it at all. The follow-up, Gemini, the singer’s seventh album, begins on a high note, the intro showcasing McKnight’s old school Motown harmonies, but the rest of the disc resurrects previous trends, matching the singer’s aural Nyquil (his trademark honey-dipped vocals) with the mildest of R&B formulas and hooks that barely register. It’s no surprise that the closing song “Me & You,” a passion play undoubtedly influenced by The Passion of the Christ, is the most inspired track on what is an otherwise drab album. Other exceptions include the string-laden “Everytime You Go Away” and the deceptively simple “Stay,” and while “She,” featuring Talib Kweli and Musiq, and “Whatcha Gonna Do?,” featuring Juvenile, Akon, and Skip, are jarring excursions into hip-hop, they ultimately inject some much-needed life into the project.
- Release Date
- January 25, 2005
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