Sterling Simms

Yours, Mine and the Truth

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After getting his name out with an appearance on Jay-Z's Kingdom Come album and as a member of the Knightwritaz -- the production team featuring Mario plus Marsha Ambrosius from Floetry -- singer/songwriter Sterling Simms launches his solo career with the uneven Yours, Mine and the Truth. The album starts on a high note with "All I Need" -- featuring Jadakiss and a borrowed bit of LL Cool J's "I Need Love" -- and when the cliché-filled "Playa" rolls around, Simms' convincing, almost Usher delivery overcomes the song's shortcomings. The problem lies with tracks like the completely irresponsible "DUI (80 on the Freeway)," which tries to seduce the ladies with a story of outrunning the cops just to get the panties. It plays out like a Dave Chappelle skit, as does the R. Kelly-ish "Boom Boom Room," which is coated in synthetic strings and sexual grunts. Saving the day are three believable closing tracks, including the layered Knightwritaz creation "Sex in the City" plus "She Should Be Thanking You," where the singer lets his Sam Cooke influence loose for a gripping performance. It doesn't wipe away a horrible decision like "DUI," but at least it places Simms' debut in the general vicinity of "promising."

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