Jeffrey Osborne

That's for Sure

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The great thing about adult contemporary music is that it provides a format for artists whose place on the pop charts in the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s was supplanted by the hip-hop and teenyboppers of the '90s and early '00s. Jeffrey Osborne is one such classic soul voice way past his prime but still cranking out appealing music that can't help but reach emotional depths because his voice is so rich, deep, and powerful. The tunes here are all slickly produced, from the cool and funky ode to love's second chance "2nd Time Around" to the dreamy ballad "That's for Sure." He's never been Barry White, but sexy funk ballads like "Come With Me" make perfect soundtracks to bedroom activities. Yet you can't get around the fact that, as strong as some of these tunes are, they pale next to the closing number, a live rendition of Osborne's first LTD hit "Love Ballad" -- which was also made famous by George Benson. The inclusion of this classic serves to remind new listeners that Osborne had a past; but longtime fans may feel a bit sad that none of his work on That's for Sure can approach his glories of the past.

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