No Regrets

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No Regrets Review

by Alex Henderson

There are some singers who make great music despite their vocal limitations, and there are other singers who have great voices but don't record great albums. Madonna and the late norteño singer Chalino Sánchez are two examples of the former; the fact that neither of them was blessed with a huge vocal range didn't hold them back creatively. But All-4-One, on the other hand, are a perfect example of singers who have impressive vocal chops but haven't lived up to their enormous creative potential. That was true back in 1994, and it continues to be true 15 years later on 2009's No Regrets. Overall, this CD is yet another example of the group settling for merely competent when they're quite capable of excellence. All-4-One is full of the sort of middle-of-the-road, adult contemporary-drenched R&B/pop that put them on the map; formulaic ballads like "If Your Heart's Not in It," "Perfect," and "The Day Life Began" are pleasant enough, but they aren't very memorable. Nonetheless, No Regrets has its moments. "If Sorry Never Comes" has an appealingly Motown-ish quality, and the funky a cappella track "You Don't Know Nothin'" recalls Take 6's infectiousness. Meanwhile, the neo-soul gem "My Child" (a man's plea to his ex-lover not to use their child as a weapon against him) is, hand's down, one of the best things All-4-One have ever recorded. But most of the songs on this album aren't nearly as meaty. Of course, All-4-One still have plenty of hardcore fans who have been on board since 1994, and many of them will no doubt acquire No Regrets simply because it is an All-4-One release. But even so, it's unfortunate that creatively, singers will this much talent continue to sell themselves short.

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