September 10, 2001 12:00 PM

Jimmy Cozier (J)

After getting his start singing backing vocals for Joe and writing songs for Blackstreet (featuring Janet Jackson) and Sinéad O’Connor, Cozier is making his debut with a polished R&B album of sounds to remove clothing to. But forget about the tawdry bump-‘n’-grind rhythms that have overtaken the genre. There is romance in his languorous beat, if not in the sardonic lyrics, of such songs as “She’s All I Got” (“Sometimes I love her/ Sometimes I love her not/ I ain’t letting her go/ ‘Cause she’s all I got/ Even though she nags me and complains a lot”).

But whether this 24-year-old son of Brooklyn is complaining about his girlfriend’s complaining or feeling guilty about cheating on her (in “So Much to Lose”), his suave vocals go down smoothly on ballads and dance-floor jams. He shines on the seductive, Caribbean-flavored “Mr. Man” (a duet with Alicia Keys) and “Heartfelt Letter,” a poetic, vintage soul track. Less impressive are the uptempo, pop-inspired songs like “Two Step” and “What the Deal,” polyester tunes that clash with the silk of his ballads. With those endearing odes, Cozier joins the ranks of sensitive soul neophytes like Case and Eric Benét. This one’s a soundtrack for those candlelit nights.

Bottom Line: Comfy Cozier

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