With cover art that features one of the best uberbrows in the history of music, In Effect Mode and its lead single, "Nite and Day," took Al B. Sure! from being just another smooth R&B singer to the top of the music charts. It certainly didn't hurt matters much that André Harrell and Teddy Riley helped to produce this debut album. Of course, the leadoff track helped to redefine quiet storm ballads for the new jack generation, but there are other gems on In Effect Mode as well, including "Off on Your Own (Girl)," where the narrator pursues the love of an uninterested lady, only to find out later that she is a lesbian. The updated, digitally enhanced cover of the classic "Killing Me Softly" is also of note, if only to contrast how the tone and palette of R&B evolved over a short period of time. And "Just a Taste of Lovin'" most certainly foreshadows the new jack phenomenon that Teddy Riley was to mastermind. Most people would be well off just getting these songs on one of the many readily available greatest-hits compilations, but those looking to dig deeper will no doubt enjoy this album from start to finish.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston