Picks and Pans Review: Babyface

UPDATED 08/15/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/15/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

Grown & Sexy

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He may be eternally known as Babyface, but at 47, Kenneth Edmonds is happy to act his age on his ninth solo album, Grown & Sexy. The singer, songwriter and producer makes adult, ultra-romantic R & B that is as smooth as satin sheets. On the midtempo title track, one of many lush, sensual numbers, the silky-voiced crooner details why his stability and maturity make him a much better catch than a young player: "Bet he don't even know your number/Got you on auto dial." Babyface offers sage advice for staying together through the tough times on "Drama, Love & 'Lationships" while celebrating the fruits of his own 13-year marriage (to film/TV producer Tracey Edmonds) on the acoustic-guitar-driven "She," a sweet if slightly over-sentimental ballad. Not that Grown & Sexy is all hearts and flowers. On "Goin' Outta Business," Babyface delivers a clever conceit about a relationship that is "shuttin' down the doors." He revels in the discovery of new love on this disc's soulful standout, "The Gettin' to Know U," on which his Curtis Mayfield-esque falsetto and the wah-wah guitar will make those who are old enough to remember Superfly smile.

DOWNLOAD THIS: "The Gettin' to Know U"

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