GINUWINE: A Man’s Thoughts (Label: Notifi, Warners)

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GINUWINE: A Man's Thoughts

Ginuwine rode into our consciousness on the back of that damn catchy ‘Pony’ back in 1996 and after a few repeat trips, his energized, R&B equestrianism was eventually toned down to the point where Mr. Lumpkins now pitches himself as the lurve man of the contemporary R&B generation. This LP (his first under the aegis of his new mentor, Kedar Massenburg) sees good ole G cementing that stance with 15 cuts that are remarkably restrained for one once known for histrionics both on stage and on record… and that’s really the problem with the album – it seems to be stuck in one gear. Most of the tracks are prefaced with an intoned spoken passage before developing into a passionate plea for romance, forgiveness, understanding, compassion … or indeed anything that effects the one-on-one relationship. Of their kind songs like ‘One Time For Love’, ‘Lying To Each Other’ and ‘Even When I’m Mad’ are very good – but there’s just too many of them. On the odd occasion when Ginuwine escapes that format the album begins to take off and by large it happens when he brings in outside help as on ‘Trouble’ featuring rapper Bun B and ‘Get Involved’ which has considerable assistance from Timbaland and Missy Elliott. That one, in fact, is the album’s standout – bigger and brasher than anything else, it has immediate floor-filling appeal. The album’s other outstanding cut comes right at the end and is different again. ‘Show Me The Way’ is a crisp, little mid-tempo beater where the restraint and passion are its most appealing factors.
(BB) 3/5