Picks and Pans Review: After 7

updated 09/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

After 7

One reason this R&B trio has built its first album into such a success is that its producers are those hit guarantors Babyface and L.A. Reid. This was not totally a result of blind luck, since Babyface (Kenneth Edmonds) is the brother of After 7's lead vocalists. Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, and Reid is a cousin of the group's backup singer. Keith Mitchell.

Babyface and Reid no doubt influenced After 7 to rely on a style that recalls soulful Motor City-tinged rhythms from the '60s and '70s. "One Night," a Babyface-L.A. tune, recounts the score with a lover: "One night of touching/ Two nights of trust/ Three nights of hugging/ Makes one night of love." Enough said.

The dance grooves on "My Only Woman." "Can't Stop" and the ballad "Ready or Not" embrace the usual love declarations. But "Sayonara," a pop cut about an unfaithful lover, finishes off the album with a flourish.

After 7 lacks diversity, but the album bears up under repeated listening. Babyface and Reid have worked with such now established stars as Bobby Brown and Sheena Easton without turning out the kind of assembly-line sound other successful producers often lapse into. The Edmondses, with the velvety sound they and Mitchell generate, are further testimony to the good judgment of their little brother and his pal. (Virgin)

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