Half a good album...
You gotta say, before you check out ‘Faithfully’, that Faith Evans really has to deliver.
She’s returned to an r&b scene still rocking to a revived Mary J Blige, still blown away by Alicia Keys‘ debut,
still reeling from the death of Aaliyah. Just as when Evans‘ right-hand man Puffy re-emerged,
a new Faith album could be a bit, “who cares?”
Well, it’s better than we might’ve expected. Opener ‘Alone In This World’ is a tight Eve-esque
number, while the awesome, Indeep-sampling ‘Back To Love’ is almost house with it’s tough
disco-funk groove and quasi-acid bassline. The latter especially is a cool, brave move, and a
relief to hear after so much sub-Timbaland tick-tock production. It could be the way to go.
It’s a high-point, and things get a little sappy from here, ‘Don’t Cry’ an especially
non-descript ballad, while the title track is just a bit too Lionel Richie to cut it.
The final stretch is a long haul, everything getting mid-tempo and warbly, ‘Can’t Believe’
arriving with those dread words “featuring Carl Thomas” – hip hop’s very own king of schmaltz.
By the time ‘Love Song (Interlude)’ kicks in, with its sub-Jill Scott sultriness, you’re wishing
she’d had a better editor – but then Puffy rarely knows when to stop.
Half a good album then, and it’s a really good half.
But you gotta wonder if that’s enough.