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***, KEITH SWEAT "Keith Sweat," Elektra

July 28, 1996|Connie Johnson

A stalwart member of the New Jack Swing generation, Sweat has delivered a steady stream of hits ever since "I Want Her," a 1987 hip-hop nugget so inviting and rich with promise that it established him as a kingpin of that genre. What sounded new in 1987 may not be groundbreaking today, but Harlem-born Sweat can still crank out a Jeep jam or temperature-teasing boudoir ballad with the best of them.

The Atlanta-based Sweat's chief attribute may be his ability to make whatever he does sound so effortless and smooth. Backed by Gerald Levert, Aaron Hall and Buddy Banks on "Funky Dope Lovin'," Sweat also has a wicked way of making that signature, nasal whine of his really say something.

He puts it to good use on "Chocolate Girl," while the cuts on which he teams with Athena Cage ("Nobody") and girl group Kut Klose ("Twisted") offer a nice feminine counterpoint to his B-boy swagger. Sweat's been around for nearly a decade, but his music still swings.


Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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