Picks and Pans Review: Ecstasy
Working for Earvin "Magic" Johnson's label and having the former L.A. Laker great serve as an executive producer for this effort, Avant must have pictured an easy layup off the glass. Yet although Ecstasy scored Top 10 debuts on both Billboard's pop and R&B charts, Avant shoots mostly bricks on his lackluster sophomore album. This is contemporary soul at its most formulaic, with the usual gauzy, amorous slow jams such as the single "Makin' Good Love" and lite hip-hop tracks featuring the obligatory rapper cameos (here, Cap-1 and Sean Don).
The predictable production and material (all of which Avant cowrote) wouldn't be quite so bad if his singing were stronger. His thin tenor, though, does little to distinguish him from every other R. Kelly wannabe. Only when guest vocalist Charlie Wilson (of Gap Band fame) pipes in on the ballad "One Way Street" are there moments when listeners will be content, much less ecstatic.
Bottom Line: This R&B is Routine and Boring