Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Post Rock Archive  |  About the Bloggers  |  E-mail: Click Track  |  On Twitter: Click Track  |  RSS Feeds RSS
Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 02/15/2011

Album review: Ginuwine, "Elgin"

By Allison Stewart

ginuwineVeteran balladeer Ginuwine fails to make much of an impact.

Early in his career, he was a likable crooner who toggled between slow jams and the millennial version of futuristic hip-hop-soul. But these days, there's just not much call for Ginuwine's brand of boudoir-riffic R&B.

It's not entirely his fault: "Elgin" (its title is a nod to Ginuwine's real name, Elgin Baylor Lumpkin) is a solid if slightly anonymous disc that makes plain the problems facing veteran balladeers. Ginuwine got older (he turned 40 in October), got married and gradually began to emphasize the crooner side of his persona, just as electro-centric R&B began to gain traction.

And now he's stuck, his limber, velvet ribbon of a voice forced to resort to making unctuous Diane Warren ballads seem sincere and interesting and mostly not succeeding ("How Does Your Heart Forget" a forgettable ballad with synthy space noises, tries and fails to split the difference), while Ne-Yo has all the fun.

"Elgin" is fine when it's good (like on the busy, lurching jam "Batteries"), but better when it's bad: "Kidnapped" is a modest banger about a couple who try to role-play their way out of a relationship rut (for Ginuwine, this is an ongoing theme) by playing kidnapper and kidnappee ("I'll dress up like a robber and wear all black/Nobody's gonna find out where I hid you at").

Meant to be romantic but more like a weirdly detailed episode of "Criminal Minds" ("Never gonna let you go/I don't care how much they pay me"), it's creepy, wrong and the best thing on an album otherwise filled with lover-man boilerplate.

Recommended tracks: "Kidnapped," "Batteries"

By Allison Stewart  | February 15, 2011; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags:  Ginuwine  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Album review: Hayes Carll, "KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories)"
Next: Album review: PJ Harvey, "Let England Shake"

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company