Picks and Pans Review: Faithfully
Faith Evans (Bad Boy/Arista)
As the widow of revered rapper the Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans has had to live in a pretty wide shadow since making her debut in 1995. The biggest hit of her career has been “I’ll Be Missing You,” her 1997 collaboration with P. Diddy (then known as Puff Daddy), which was a tribute to Evans’s slain husband. On Faithfully’s “Alone in This World” and the album’s title track, the singer keeps Biggie alive by borrowing elements from, respectively, his “Who Shot Ya” and “Juicy,” one of his signature hits.
Keeping one foot in both the hip-hop and R&B worlds, Evans uses her gritty, gospel-informed alto to deftly mix components from the street and the church, bringing in guest rappers Loon and P. Diddy for two songs. But when she goes soulfully solo on the jazzy numbers “Do Your Time” and “Love Can’t Hide,” it’s clear that this is Evans’s party. At least on these cuts she doesn’t have to compete with any ghosts.
Bottom Line: Faith value