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Album review: Ginuwine's 'A Man's Thoughts'

June 22, 2009 |  7:19 pm
Ginuwine_240_ A founding member of the pioneering mid-'90s R&B crew that also included Missy Elliott, Aaliyah and Timbaland, Ginuwine emerged at the beginning of soul music's current era of technological obsession; his debut single, "Pony," still sounds like something beamed back from the future.

Now, on his first album since 2005, the Washington, D.C., crooner seems determined to prove he can make an impression minus state-of-the-art studio science. "A Man's Thoughts" is long on uncluttered slow jams with old-fashioned titles like "One Time for Love" and "Even When I'm Mad." In most, Ginuwine ladles on the melisma like it's Hollywood Week on "American Idol."

The vocals are fine. In fact, their relatively rough-hewn humanity is kind of refreshing in the Age of Auto-Tune. But with only a few exceptions -- such as "Bridge to Love," a hard-swinging duet with Brandy, and "Lying to Each Other," in which Ginuwine admits to his lady, "I'd rather watch cable than see you with a negligee on" -- the material here doesn't live up to his performances, making the music easier to admire than to enjoy.

When Timbaland and Elliott finally show up for one cut, the space-age disco jam "Get Involved," the uptick in energy is striking. 

-- Mikael Wood 

"A Man's Thoughts"
Notifi/Asylum/Warner Bros.
Two stars