Back at One

Back at One

5.0 18
by Brian McKnight
     
 

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With BACK AT ONE, Brian McKnight bolsters his sensitive-man image with sweet vocals on yearning ballads -- check "Stay" and the title track -- then playfully toys with his newly acquired hipness quotient on songs like "Play Yourself." As a producer, McKnight employs musical accents to great effect: Acoustic guitars evoke sultry Spanish nights on "Last Dance," a… See more details below

Overview

With BACK AT ONE, Brian McKnight bolsters his sensitive-man image with sweet vocals on yearning ballads -- check "Stay" and the title track -- then playfully toys with his newly acquired hipness quotient on songs like "Play Yourself." As a producer, McKnight employs musical accents to great effect: Acoustic guitars evoke sultry Spanish nights on "Last Dance," a pedal-steel guitar makes "6, 8, 12" tug at the heartstrings, and synths and staccato drums bounce like one of Timbaland's hip-hop seducers on "Can You Read My Mind." The latter track begins with a choral interlude of McKnight voices, setting the tone for a thinly veiled call to love that is underscored with acoustic guitars and a sly backbeat. More self-assured as a songwriter on this album, his fourth, McKnight distills his lyrics to convey deep, inexpressible emotion. And though he slips into sentimentality near the disc's end on "Cherish," nothing can sink this album -- or McKnight's soaring career.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Brian McKnight backs away ever so slightly from the streetwise rhythms Puff Daddy injected into Anytime with his fifth album, Back at One. That's not to say that the album doesn't sound contemporary or fresh -- quite the opposite. McKnight has figured out a way to make his gospel-flavored contemporary urban soul sound fresh, mainly by keeping the focus on the songs. There's nothing extraneous on Back at One: all 13 songs are given clean presentations, and he blesses them with impassioned performances. At times, the material itself is not particularly interesting, but most albums have filler; what counts is the good stuff, and there's enough of it on Back at One to make it another solid effort from McKnight.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/21/1999
Label:
Motown
UPC:
0601215370829
catalogNumber:
53708
Rank:
36518

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