Picks and Pans Review: Another Level
That "No Diggity," the first single from this sophomore album, is already a radio smash should come as no surprise. The man behind the foursome is überproducer/composer/singer Teddy Riley. Back in the '80s, Riley practically invented New Jack Swing by combining R&B vocals with hip hop's aggressive beats. That powerful one-two punch flavors "No Diggity," which takes a nasty Delta blues riff and marries it to lip-smacking lasciviousness. The result is an instant, five-minute pop classic. Yet once you get past "No Diggity," the album has surprising depth and showcases rich harmony. On "Don't Leave Me," Blackstreet pours on the heartache and late-night yearning, while a melodically reworked version of the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" oozes sincerity. Of course, Riley knows how to work a crowd, as he proves with the percolating grooves of "Fix." Another Level's strong chart showing has been driven by the sexy vibe of "No Diggity." But Blackstreet have proved that they have more to offer than comeons. (Interscope)
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