by: BBD

Bell Biv DeVoe's first album of new material in eight years, BBD, attempts to reclaim the popular success of the trio's first album. It's sexier than anything BBD had done before, every song being not about love but instead sex -- straight-up freaky sex with no apologies and little passion. In addition, the former New Edition singers also do a lot of flossing here, rapping about champagne, cars, and money. This is a very brash and unapologetic album, an album that turns seduction into sport. These three guys, of course, popularized this style of urban music a decade earlier, a time when songs like "Do Me!" seemed quite steamy. Well, time certainly hasn't cooled them a bit. BBD is just as frank about its intentions as it ever was, if not more so. What has changed, however, is the production style. BBD goes with a long list of producers, among them Rockwilder, the big-money rap producer who crafts "Da Hot S*** (Aight)," this album's standout moment. But its Rockwilder's only production, and the other producers aren't quite as noteworthy. This is a minor issue, though, in the end. Ricky, Michael, and Ronnie dominate this album, and they're as determined as they've ever been. If anything, their determination pushes them too far, to the point where they force the songs. Yet after nearly a decade of inactivity, the hunger is understandable, and fans of the trio should certainly rejoice its return. Among an industry of teenage sensations who come and go with each passing year, these three guys refuse to quit. Thankfully, with every successive comeback they adapt their style to the moment and never sound like the aging adults they've become. BBD has somehow managed to sound enternally young and consistently contemporary, two often overlooked accomplishments that are more impressive than mere chart success. [The clean version censors all moments of profanity.] ~ Jason Birchmeier

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.