Picks and Pans Review: Emotional

updated 08/18/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/18/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Jeffrey Osborne

An Adonis among modern R&B singers, Osborne has a voice that is strong, sleek and finely sculpted. But on his fourth solo LP, the former leader of LTD doesn't seem to know his own strength. He indulges in exaggerated vocals that overwhelm the relatively simple pop compositions on Emotional. Especially on the five cuts that Osborne produced, he commits studio overkill by continually using electronic tricks to deepen and echo his voice. And while he is supported by such studio aces as guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. and drummer John Robinson, the instrumental backgrounds are somehow almost too neat. They lack character. On a couple of tracks—the sweet love ballad You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song) and the stirring Room With a view—Osborne finds simple settings for his passionate delivery. On this album, though, that sort of balance is hard to come by. (A&M)

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