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Classic Album Review: Babyface | Face 2 Face

This is either the sound of Babyface growing up — or entering a midlife crisis.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


We’re all used to hearing sweet nothings whispered from Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds. But on his latest joint, he comes out shwinging for all he’s worth.

In a blatant bid to transform himself from boudoir balladeer to sex machine — and appeal to a younger audience — Babyface has updated both his look and his sound on Face 2 Face. In the former category, that amounts toa Lenny Kravitz ’fro, aviator shades and hipster duds. In the latter, it translates into neck-snapping R&B grooves on tracks like There She Goes, old-school Curtis Mayfield orchestral soul and falsetto vocals, a cameo by Snoop Dogg on Baby’s Mama, and even boy-band pop on the unfortunate With Him. Face 2 Face has its moments, to be sure. But it’s hard to know whether this is the sound of Babyface growing up — or entering a midlife crisis.