Avant switches labels once more for his sixth album, this time from Capitol to Verve Forecast. It contains three eyebrow raisers: "Body Police," in which lines like "I gotta take you in the 69th precinct" are the norm; the lyrically belligerent, borderline dance-pop tune "That Dude," and the jagged, aggressive "Had Enough." To put it lightly, none of these songs deserve placement in a best-of-Avant playlist. Otherwise, The Letter offers another ballad-heavy round of smooth, sophisticated, and occasionally raunchy R&B songs -- most of which are collaborations with the Pentagon -- for the thirty and up crowd. It's not one of the singer's best albums, but those who can wade through the miscues will have an EP's worth of solid Avant.
The Letter Review
by Andy Kellman