By the mid-1990s, Heavy D wasn't considered as cutting-edge as he was in the 1980s, but the MC was still recording worthwhile and satisfying albums that appealed to both R&B/urban audiences (who liked his "nice guy" image and groove-oriented tendencies) and rap's hardcore (which couldn't deny the fact that he could flow with the best of them). Though Waterbed Hev (a disc that soared to the top of Billboard's R&B albums chart) is at times a bit harder than he'd been on his early albums, there's no mistaking the fact that this is a Heavy D album through and through. The Overweight Lover's smooth R&B leanings and melodic inclinations had remained strong, and he continued to favor a slick production style. Cuts like "Can You Handle It" (which features Tha Dogg Pound) and "Wanna Be a Player" are definitely harder-edged than one expects Heavy to be, but he's still a long way from being as hardcore as Ice-T or Too Short. Not extraordinary but always entertaining, Waterbed is a nice example of an artist evolving without being untrue to himself.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson