Recording information: Flyte Tyme Studios, Santa Monica, CA; Franklin Studios, Atlanta, GA; J Skillz Recording Studio, Beverly Hills, CA; Jackson's Lyrics Studios, Birmingham, AL; Notifi Studios, St. Louis, MO; The Hit Factory, Miami, FL.
Photographer: Stephen Garnett.
Despite his activity in New Edition, LSG, and his duets with Stacy Lattisaw, it's hard to believe that Johnny Gill -- who has been making records since 1983 -- is on only his sixth solo album. Now on the boutique label Notifi, distributed by Fontana, Gill nonetheless works with some of the more established names in R&B, including Troy Taylor, Johnta Austin, Bryan-Michael Cox, and longtime associates Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. There's an eyebrow-raising ballad with LSG mate Keith Sweat and Eddie Levert (father of late LSG member Gerald), produced by the late Static Major; it's one of the album's highlights. Throughout the album -- the first half especially -- an all-male array of background and co-lead vocalists is prominent enough to make a listener wonder if Gill has formed a new group. It's most jarring on the title track, an obvious attempt to fit in with mainstream R&B radio. Those who are drawn to Gill's ballads will find a few songs to enjoy, including the sparse piano/falsetto number "2nd Place." ~ Andy Kellman