Calvin Richardson

Country Boy

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Calvin Richardson made a small impression as part of the short-lived mid-'90s urban group Undercover, whose smooth contemporary soul showed the influence of Jodeci, childhood friends of Richardson. So, it shouldn't come as a great surprise that Country Boy, his 1999 solo debut, also recalls Jodeci (it even features K-Ci on the opening track, "I'll Take Her"). To Richardson's credit, he does show signs of developing his own vocal style, even if the music either is too close to Jodeci for comfort, or a little too generic. That said, there are several very strong songs -- inlcuding the single "True Love," which features Chico DeBarge, and the Monifah duet "Close My Eyes" -- that keep Country Boy enjoyable, even when it sounds a little samey.

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