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Picks and Pans Review: Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya

updated 09/18/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/18/2000 01:00AM

Boyz II Men (Universal)

Album of the week

Long before the current boy-band boom exploded with such young bloods as Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync and 98°, there was Boyz II Men. The Grammy-winning quartet were launched in 1991 with the multi-platinum Cooleyhighharmony and sent girls swooning with their lush harmonies, fancy footwork and unabashed romanticism.

But the Boyz–who first got together as choir members at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts–find themselves returning as elder statesmen on this, their fifth release. Consummately delivering what they do best–classic and classy soul ballads–the album peaks midway through with the candlelight suite of "I Finally Know," "Pass You By," "Dreams" and "I Do." The latter, with its doo-wop a cappella opening, reestablishes this fab foursome as a vocal group for the ages. Bottom Line: II good II be ignored

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