T.E.V.I.N. Review

Tevin Campbell's debut album kicks off with the hit single "Round and Round." The song is entertaining, with an interesting message that you shouldn't just sit and discuss stuff because you'll end up just going "round and round" and never get anywhere. However, the song is far too long and doesn't consist of much. As a result, the song is okay but nothing incredible.

Pausing the action early on, the interlude "Over the Rainbow and on to the Sun" is a relaxing pause. It highlights Campbells great vocals in the background and shows that this kid's got some strength.

"Tell Me What You Want Me To Do" shows those powerful vocals as Tevin runs in and out of the vocals. He offers a great range and really lets it out on the final bridge. This is a solid song throughout that shows Tevin could handle the slow numbers just as well as the uptempo grooves.

The fourth track on the album, "Lil' Brother," is a tough song to critique. On the one hand, it is awkward as a fifteen year old tries to seduce a 17 year old. He tells her that all the older men can't treat her right and she needs him in her life. As such, I'll be the first one to say this song is cheezy. Despite that, the song rocks. Tevin rips it with some wild vocals and the song is fun. It features a bouncing beat that really stirs you up.

"Alone With You," starts strong with some smooth vocals. Unfortunately, the bridge is pretty bland and the song runs on a little too long. Overall, this wouldn't be a big deal except that the bridge is really boring and yet, it seems to be the centerpiece of the song. As such, it's a good song that just fell short of being great.

"Strawberry Letter 23" is an interesting song. It's a pleasant, uptempo listen that doesn't really have a strong foundation. The lyrics seem to shoot off in every which direction with me sitting here trying to figure out what a lot of lines even mean. Still, the song is fun with a bouncy beat. While it runs a bit long and the rap is weak, the song is enjoyable.

The seventh song on the album, "One Song," gives Tevin free rein to really do what he wants. Tevin handles the song well, controlling the pace and singing a nice meaningful song. There is a chorus that joins into the song near the end and it gives a strong positive feeling to the song. Overall, a really enjoyable, albeit simple song.

"Just Ask Me To" is a length song that isn't too bad, but it never really succeeds at wow-ing you. The song is pretty good until Chubb Rocks comes on. When he raps, it sounds like he's telling Tevin that he's a young kid but come on, he shouldn't be naive about women. It's really weird for someone to be telling a kid who's fourteen that he should be trying to get women in bed. This song also adds to confusion as the track refers to Tevin being fourteen, while "Lil Brother" said he was fifteen. Maybe the songs were recorded at different points of the year but it still seems like a strange inconsistency in the album.

The album continues with "Goodbye," a track which Tevin really rips into. The vocals are handled well and the song has some pretty good lyrics. The only thing that bogs this song down is the included little "rap/ghetto" blurb that is interjected. This seems to happen a lot on this album and it only acts as an interruption of an otherwise quality performance by Tevin.

Continuing at full cylinders, "Perfect World" is a great song that seems meant for Tevin. The song avoids the awkwardness of him being to young to sing sexual and is a fun song about the world being perfect when in love. A classy song that's a great listen.

The first time I heard "Confused," I thought the song was about not being sure who you liked between two lovers. However, listening to it more and more I think the song is about going through puberty and/or being unsure of how to have sex. Either way, it's kind of a weird topic. Still, the vocals are top notch and the song has really strong delivery.

Nearing the end of the album, "Look What We'd Have (If You Were Mine)" is a middle of the road song. Tevin's vocals don't really do much for me on this one. While the song is an enjoyable listen, it doesn't really knock you out. The chorus is solid and the lyrics are well done, but there's not much meat to it. As such, it's a good song but not the best.

The album ends with another up-tempo number, "She's All That." The song is a bit long and the rap piece in the middle is kind of lame. Still, the song is funky and a great listen that gets you shaking to the beat in no time. A good song that gets bogged down by its rap additions.

tl;dr: Tevin Campbell's debut album is a nice mix of songs. Tevin is capable of handling both fast and slow songs and his vocals really soar throughout. The album gets bogged down in its rap additions but still is a worthwhile listen.