Otis Redding was on the money when he urged trying a little tenderness. If there's any emotion that's sorely absent from what currently passes as soul music, tenderness is it. To the rescue come Charles (Pettigrew) and Eddie (Chacon), who emanate warmth, smoothness and a sexy sweetness from every pore.
It would be hard to get a better soul vibe and groove than the exquisite "Would I Lie to You?" Unlike other neo-soul warriors, whose sounds seem to regurgitate Marvin Gaye's Greatest Hits undigested, Charles & Eddie are reverent without being redundant, re-creating an achingly pure vocabulary that pays homage but stays firmly in the '90s. Backed, by a resilient band, both men provide vocals and songwriting. You can hear their prowess in the soaring melody of "Hurt No More' " and the fused-al-the-hip harmonies of "House Is Not a Home." What you get are two serious contenders (not pretenders) to a mighty, mighty throne. (Capitol)