Brian McKnight backs away ever so slightly from the streetwise rhythms Puff Daddy injected into Anytime with his fifth album, Back at One. That's not to say that the album doesn't sound contemporary or fresh -- quite the opposite. McKnight has figured out a way to make his gospel-flavored contemporary urban soul sound fresh, mainly by keeping the focus on the songs. There's nothing extraneous on Back at One: all 13 songs are given clean presentations, and he blesses them with impassioned performances. At times, the material itself is not particularly interesting, but most albums have filler; what counts is the good stuff, and there's enough of it on Back at One to make it another solid effort from McKnight.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine