Brian McKnight

Brian McKnight

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Brian McKnight's self-titled debut album is a mix of quiet storm and jazz-tinged R&B lite, with a few up-tempo numbers thrown in. The album opens with the New Jack Swing lite of "Yours," and leads into other mid-tempo, early-'90s sounding R&B. Some songs, including "Stay the Night," even incorporate the electric guitar, an instrument which was virtually forgotten in pop music by the end of the decade. The album produced one major hit, the teary ballad "One Last Cry." Brian McKnight, with his brand of songwriter-driven, piano-man quiet storm, was unique among 1990s male solo singers, and unexpectedly became one of the genre's biggest (and only) stars, with each album building on the previous one's success. For that reason, perhaps, this album is less commercial and more jazz-leaning than his later discs, especially towards the album's second half. Other highlights include his silky cover of the Hall & Oats staple "I Can't Go for That" (which features the album's only rap) and the jazz nugget "Is the Feeling Gone." A great album for a rainy winter afternoon.

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