Ralph Tresvant

Rizz Wa Faire

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It's been over ten years since Ralph Tresvant stepped up to the plate with a solo record. And while much has changed in that time, it's as if the smooth voice of New Edition was pulling a Han Solo: frozen in carbonite and oblivious to the evolving events. Much to his credit he doesn't embarrass himself the way he did with the gangsta-lite It's Goin' Down, which was the equivalent of gangsta rap trading in its Raiders baseball cap and 40 ounce, washing its mouth out with Listerine, and donning a floral summer hat. And while Tresvant proves he still has the vocal chops to make the girls swoon two decades into his career, Rizz Wa Faire suffers from poor studio production, with textbook studio trickery and beats layered over studio synth presets. Of particularly poor taste is "Magic Underwear," where Tresvant does his best Justin Timberlake impersonation over a synth line that sounds eerily familiar to Kraftwerk's "Numbers." It's unfortunate that Tresvant has constantly struggled with production since his eponymous solo debut. Given the right production team, he could have been equally as successful as Bobby Brown, if not larger because of his vocal abilities. Fans of his work will find this an enjoyable affair, but here's hoping the next album isn't ten years from now, because it will be 13 years too late.

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