Picks and Pans Review: Avant

UPDATED 05/29/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/29/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

Director

R&B

His new disc may be called Director, but early on it's clear that Avant is more of a follower than a leader. On "This Is Your Night," one of many bedroom ballads on his fourth CD, the R&B Romeo borrows heavily from L.T.D.'s 1980 hit "Where Did We Go Wrong?" He also gives a shout-out to standard bearers Luther Vandross and Marvin Gaye, which only drives home the fact that Avant is nowhere near in the same league as these soul men. Still, the smooth tenor brings the requisite mix of sensitivity ("4 Minutes") and sexuality (the title cut), throwing in the occasional hip-hop flourish for a little street cred. You could do worse to set the scene for a night of romance.
[stars 2.5]

DOWNLOAD THIS: "Right Place, Wrong Time"

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