Brian McKnight’s U Turn isn’t a turn at all from his Anytime album released in 1999. While there are a few upbeat songs dashed with a touch of rap and hip-hop flavor, U Turn is smothered with love ballads, sultry grooves and spicy lyrics. Tracks like “U Turn” and “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda” use the hip-hop and R&B mixing formula with near flawless precision.

Todd Weiser

Unfortunately, many of the tracks have the same underlying theme: love, lust, and heartbreak. The album partially makes up for its triteness with McKnight’s rich vocals and mellow beats. The songwriting in this album, unlike his previous release, contain strong imagery backed up with smooth instrumentals. He effortlessly peels lyrics like, “Trying to count your tears would be like standing in the rain.”

With so many musical genres blending into one another, it often seems like pure, unadultured R&B is lost to the annals of time. McKnight successfully captures it in U Turn and shows the industry what pure R&B should sound like.

In the end, it boils down to one question: How do you define good music? Does it include popping in a CD, dimming the lights and kicking back with the ones who you love? If so, you might want to add U Turn to your collection.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

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