I'm Ready Review

When listening to Tevin Campbell's debut album, I couldn't help but think what might come up if he had teamed up with Babyface. Tevin's vocals were strong but some of the writing on his tracks just didn't fit his young age. Well, I didn't have to wonder long as for Babyface sophomore effort, Babyface penned three tracks.

The album kicks off with one such track, the hit "Can We Talk." At the time of this album's release, Tevin was starting to really come into his own, scoring two solid tracks "Stand Out" and "Eye To Eye" on the Goofy Movie Soundtrack, and this remarkable number. As you can gauge, I think this is one of Tevin's best. The song is catchy and well-composed. It has some solid writing and is a nice song for Tevin's coming of age. Overall, the song plays it safe but is still, a solid, fun number.

Continuing strong, the album's second track, "Don't Say Goodbye Girl" has a great range of vocals and features some solid writing. Tevin croons about a girl getting ready to leave him on this number, keeping things away from the very intimate sexual numbers and staying in a zone that works well for Tevin.

After a brief foreign interlude, the album has a track that I can't quite decide on. "Halls Of Desire" is enjoyable, and very catchy. However, the song doesn't quite pack the punch of earlier numbers and almost seems like a filler song. My main reason for this is that the song is really corny, telling a girl about how she can pick a door in which to decide how physically intimate their relationship will be. Okay... but again, the song really is saved by its catchy pace.

Bringing back Babyface, "I'm Ready" is a solid song. The track has nice soft lyrics and is well-written. The vocals are enjoyable but the song falters because of its simplicity. The song carries on a little too long and yet lacks the meat to make it worthwhile.

"What Do I Say" is an enjoyable song in which Tevin really lathers it up. This album isn't as strong vocally as Tevin's debut (puberty does that to you), but it has much better writing and production, allowing Tevin to shine. This is another one of those songs where Tevin does well, coming through with solid delivery.

"Uncle Sam" takes a dip into political music as it asks Uncle Sam why a man is treated differently for his skin color. The chorus on this number is infectious and the lyrics are great throughout. Best of all, the song's featured rap is well-written and contributes nicely to the song, a rare feat in R&B music. While the song isn't vocally complex, it does precisely what it has to and delivers a strong political message.

Unfortunately, it seems my comments on the lack of complexity in Uncle Sam were taken to heart and with "Paris 1798430," they constructed a political song that is a little TOO complex. The track has the potential to be the song of a generation, but it is far too disorganized. Charged with a politically strong message, the song seems to fire in every direction on a number that Tevin just isn't quite ready for yet.

The album cools down with another Babyface joint, as Tevin croons on "Always In My Heart." The song is great, with some strong vocals and top-notch writing. The only flaw is that like "I'm Ready," the song isn't very meaty. The song is built mostly of its chorus and bridge, and not really much besides. Still, the song works nicely and with good vocals, it's something I'm willing to look past.

After a third interlude in which the speaker says something in a foreign language (the second was after "Uncle Sam"), the album comes out slow and sexual with "Break It Down." The song is laced with sexual feeling as its very rhythmic and features the heavy breathing of a girl in the background. It gives the song a raunchy feel and would do nicely as a bedroom track. Still, it's not going to blow your mind anywhere else.

"Brown Eyed Girl," the album's last real track, is a solid song with a nice beat and smooth vocals. It could have been a really good song but it's just a little too simplistic to lace it with too much praise. If the song didn't repeat the first verse again at the end, it would have been a real tight track.

Following this, the album closes with "Infant Child." The piece is a simplistic outro with a pretty piano piece. It is a quiet song that serves as a nice goodbye to the album.

tl;dr: This is the Tevin Campbell album to own. Tevin was teamed up with some great writers and producers to put out some really tight jams. If you can also find his tracks 'Stand Out' and 'Eye To Eye' you'll really be golden. Overall, a top notch album that's well worth the cost of admission.