Surface

Surface

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    8
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Three years after releasing the heavenly midtempo boogie track "Falling in Love" on Salsoul, Surface signed to Columbia and released their first album, a Lover's Lane paradise populated by aching, delicately durable ballads -- "Happy" being the absolute hottest. Few of the ten tracks cannot be classified as slow or slowish, including the decent late-period electro of "You're Fine" and "Lady Wants a Man," as well as the faintly "Falling in Love"-echoing "Feels So Good." Otherwise, it's slow grinding and gentle pleading, none of which is overly dramatic -- not by mid-'80s R&B standards, at least. Between this and the first Keith Sweat, contemporary songwriters and producers aiming to make steamy, electronically enhanced slow jams have several ideas just waiting to be lifted.

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