Picks and Pans Review: Rebirth
Keith Sweat (Elektra)
The problem with Keith Sweat these days is that he doesn’t seem to be working up much perspiration. Having displayed surprising staying power as an R&B Romeo since his breakthrough 1987 debut, Make It Last Forever, he now sounds as if he is going through the love-man motions on his eighth album.
Sweat even seems to be running out of ideas for his trademark slow jams, which make up roughly half this disc. Take “One on One,” the first single featuring Lola Troy and Lade Bac. The song is a pretty lazy rewrite of the Isley Brothers’ 1983 hit “Choosey Lover,” updated with raunchier lyrics. It comes off as a slick attempt to put one over on the younger generation, who probably don’t remember the Isley Brothers tune. Sweat isn’t ashamed to rip off more recent material either. “Trust Me,” a ballad about the doubts outsiders try to place in a relationship, sounds an awful lot like Ginuwine’s 2001 hit “Differences.” At least it’s better than the clichéd, hip-hoppish mid-tempo cuts that find Sweat, now 46, refusing to act his age.
Bottom Line: Rehashed