December 05, 2006
Warner Bros.
Rhythm & Blues, Contemporary R&B, Adult Contemporary, Urban

Album Review

Just about the smartest thing Brian McKnight could do in 2006 is collaborate with Tim & Bob, a veteran do-it-all studio duo who have quietly contributed to many of the best and/or most successful R&B tracks -- including Boyz II Men's "Vibin," Sisqó's "Thong Song," and Bobby Valentino's "Slow Down" -- of the past 12 years. McKnight does exactly that on Ten, an album that features four Tim & Bob collaborations. Two of the songs rank as high as anything from McKnight's past: "Used to Be My Girl" and "Unhappy Without You," despite reading like bitter pre- and post-breakup laments, carry the nuanced bounce and swagger that held up Valentino's first album, and McKnight is as impassioned as ever. In the hands of most other male vocalists, the lyrics would probably sound like embittered rants from an insufferable jerk. It's spry grown folks' R&B. Apart from these tracks, as well as one collaboration with Brian Cox, McKnight handles all the writing and production. From this portion of the album, "Shoulda Been Lovin' You" is the standout, an elegant throwback to Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" where seduction is swapped out for regret and self-flagellation, both of which come off as real talk rather than pitiful wallowing. With 2005's Gemini and this release -- two of his finest albums -- McKnight is on something of a roll.
Andy Kellman, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Used to Be My Girl
  2. Comfortable
  3. Find Myself in You
  4. What's My Name
  5. Unhappy Without You
  6. A Little Too Late
  7. Holdin' On (Missin' You)
  8. Shoulda Been Lovin' You
  9. Again
  10. More and More
  11. Can't Leave You Alone
  12. I Do
  13. The Rest of My Life
  14. Red White and Blue
  15. Don't Take Your Love Away