Sometimes you have to move backwards to go forward....

Sometimes you have to move backwards to go forward. It’s fitting Teddy Riley should choose the year 2000 to revisit the new jack swing brand of modern-day R&B that made his name. And the recent demise of Blackstreet has left the door open for the Norfolk, Virginia producer, along with Aaron and Damion Hall, to reform Guy, who dissolved in some acrimony ten years ago.

The codes and rituals of R&B might not be immediately apparent to outsiders who can be put off by its very slickness, devotion to melodic arrangement and reliance on love and sex as all-consuming obsessions but, suffice to say, the state-of-the-art ‘Guy III’ freeze-dries unapologetic, urban attitude for the masses.

A born-again Christian outlook doesn’t prevent Riley and his numerous helpers from serving up edgy electronic dance anthems and deep ‘quiet storm’ ballads, vaguely political paeans to freedom and two-fingered salutes to their competitors.

The lubricous ‘The Best’, the plaintive ‘Rescue Me’ (with its old-fashioned chivalry), and the Prince-updating ‘2004’ are all branches of the same tree. And only Riley would have the savvy to introduce the Internet into such a well-worn formula with the slushy ‘Love On Line’. At the top of their game.

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