V.A.

One By One

(CD - Dreamworks SKG #)

Review by

According to the liner notes to V.A.'s debut album, One by One, the initials in the group's name stand for "Very Artistic." After listening to their debut, V.A. should stand for "Very Average." Like too many R&B male vocal groups before them, V.A. breaks out every tired romantic cliché and transforms them into an entirely forgettable debut. While the trio shows glimpses of vocal ability, that ability is washed out by production that manages to be both boring and overbearing. The group relies on the production team of the Characters, who have had past successes with artist such as Tyrese and Brian McKnight. It seems the Characters are saving their top material for those more established artists and are using their leftover tracks for V.A. On top of the tepid production, they tacked on meaningless lyrics to songs such as "Breathe" and "I Want You for Myself." Perhaps if V.A. was given some better material to work with they would be able to come close to reaching their potential. But after listening to One by One, it's hard to imagine how this group could have anything new to offer.