Back To The World

Back To The World Review

Tevin returns three years after his hit sophomore album with a new direction. Back to the World introduces the world to an aging Tevin and immediately identifies the difference on the cover where Tevin spots a moustache and curls.

As the album kicks off, we are introduced to one of the most unfortunate additions of the new Tevin Campbell. In "Back to the World" we get an overwhelming impression of back-up singers, with the bridge and chorus both being sung by the support. As such, while the song is BY Tevin Campbell, you don't hear much of him. Fortunately, the chorus is pretty catchy and the verses are good so the song is enjoyable. But let Tevin sing the bridges, I think he could have done them better. Another problem introduced by the track that is seen throughout is the length. The song is nice, but it doesn't need two minutes of chorus to send it off. End the song when its over, don't drag it out.

"Dry Your Eyes," the second track on the album is a sweet catchy number. The chorus continues the change of direction with extensive support vocals. The chorus support is done nicely but it unfortunately continues through much of the verses. Still, the song is an enjoyable listen.

The third track on the album, "You Don't Have To Worry," is one of the few growing pains tracks that appear on the track. As Tevin comes of age, it can be difficult to meld every song to the new personality. This song is a classic example as the track is tedious with a bland chorus. The lyrics fail to inspire and the song is too slow and about two minutes too long.

"I Got It Bad," is a groovy number with a nice soulful delivery by Tevin. The verses are brooding, contemplating how awful things are. Overall, it's a pleasant listen that keeps you nodding to the groove. Unfortunately, this song suffers from the similar length issues as the others, going on for far longer than is necessary.

The fifth track on the album, "Tell Me Where," is one of the best on the album. The song is well-written with nice lyrics that Tevin handles nicely. The chorus is smooth, albeit repetitive at times. A great song throughout.

"Could It Be," seems to be an experimental song that went a little awry in the process. The production is all over the place and while it's probably the best part of the track, it elicits much confusion. The constant change in beat causes the track to lose any semblance of direction and when you realize the song doesn't have much meat to it, it really starts to stumble.

Not wanting to be left out, "I Need You," is another song that shows signs of promise and then flounders out due to its length. The song is an okay number but it just keeps on rolling, even after your pretty certain there's nothing left to say.

"I'll Be There" is another slow song which Tevin seems to stumble over. While he seemed to have no problem handling these tracks on the older albums, Tevin doesn't seem capable of running through the songs anymore. The album seems to have two clear problems. The funky songs suffer from excessive length, while the slow numbers suffer from uninspired delivery and boring pacing.

The ninth track on the album, "We Can Work It Out," is boring and seems to lack any emotion or enthusiasm. The chorus is tiring and the song is easily skipped.

"Beautiful Thing," is an enjoyable song with pleasant lyrics. Tevin's voice runs nicely through the track, rising and falling with the verses. The song also has an interesting beat which adds to its allure. While the song isn't really all that great, it's a pleasant listen.

The track of the album is probably "Could You Learn To Love." The song is beautiful with a solid chorus and nicely written lyrics. The bridge is solid and Tevin really lets it out on it. The song seems to get everything right, cutting off at just the right time, and showing the enthusiasm that the other slow songs lacked. A reassuring track that shows the ability is still there, if anyone can tap it.

Unfortunately, "Could You Learn To Love," is a gem in the rough as the album closes with "Break of Down." This song, like the others, is simply average. It has some nice lyrics but is bogged down by a boring chorus and the continued attempts to make a song longer than it needs to be. The song isn't bad, but it doesn't really grab your attention either.

tl;dr: Tevin's coming of age album is a disappointment, wallowing in mediocrity. While a few choice tracks are solid, and most show his potential, the album as a whole never comes into its own. Too many tracks wear out their welcome and lack the enthusiasm necessary to really move you.