No One Does It Better

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Simultaneously attempting to emulate the Backstreet Boys while trying to distance themselves from the boy band revival of the late '90s, Soul Decision eventually loses focus on No One Does It Better. As their group name implies, this Canadian trio prefers R&B styles, especially the blue-eyed soul of dance-pop artists like George Michael. Such influences almost help Soul Decision escape the newest-kids-on-the-block packaging dictated by their marketable teen appeal. "Ooh It's Kinda Crazy" is a deceptively impressive leadoff track, channeling George Michael's "Fastlove" through their adolescent pop-soul style without sounding overly derivative. Oddly enough, the song did not become a hit, but that situation was remedied with their second-best effort, the lustfully contagious "Faded." Despite a gratuitous rap from the nondescript Thrush, "Faded" was a moderate radio success which managed to convey a smidgen of the mature R&B sound the group hoped would distinguish them from the flock of 'N Sync clones. No One Does It Better struggles to sustain momentum up through "Faded," then uneven material sinks the second half, with the cloying, formulaic "Gravity" providing an unintentional description of their chart fortunes. It's possible Soul Decision needs more control over their choice of material, but that's no excuse for including filler, especially after showing such flashes of potential. To be considered wise beyond their years, Soul Decision will need to return to the promise of their best moments, and leave the prefabricated pop to the boy bands they have outgrown.

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