Volume 96, Issue 71
Wednesday, February 5, 2003

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CD REVIEW: Next

Next
The Next Episode
J Records



Rundown:
You may know this Minneapolis-based trio from their three previous R&B hits: "Too Close," "Butter Love" and "Wifey." The Next Episode is their third album and should dispel any rumours of the band's break-up after R.L. released a solo album last year. The new album continues the fusion of smooth rhythm and blues, gospel harmonies and hip-hop beats.

Key Tracks:
The album's first single, "Imagine That," is a soulful, contemplative slow jam that will surely find an audience on nighttime radio. "Do Your Thing" is a disco-flavoured dance track about a woman on the prowl for a special friend. The upbeat summer pop song "Feels Good" celebrates relaxing with friends and family on a sunny day, while a sexy cover of the R&B classic "It's Okay" keeps the heat turned up.

Sounds Like: The Next Episode meets everyone's expectations and holds no surprises. The album offers a good mix of slow ballads and dance tracks. the album also comes with a Parental Advisory, so consider yourself warned if you are likely to be offended by the "n" word, explicit sexual lyrics or drug references.

–Nicole Laidler

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2002 THE GAZETTE