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POP MUSIC | Record Rack

In Brief

** Luther Vandross, "Luther Vandross," J.

July 08, 2001|NATALIE NICHOLS

The veteran R&B-pop crooner expertly inhabits various hopeful suitors and jilted lovers, but despite a phalanx of contributing songwriters, the old Chuck Jackson hit "Any Day Now" is this collection's most memorable tune. Older fans should appreciate the rekindle-the-fire funk of "Grown Thangs," co-written with Babyface and Jon B. Vandross and co-producer Clive Davis craft a silky, if not terribly cutting-edge blend of modern hip-hop and classic disco-soul styles. He finds the humanity in a range of romantic situations, but not even his warm, believable tenor can finesse the overwrought girlfriend-in-a-coma ballad "Can Heaven Wait."

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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