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Album review: 'Love,' by Boyz II Men

Patrick Varine

Consider, for a moment, how talented Boyz II Men are, still, even as they approach their 20th anniversary as a group. They took the pop world by storm with their debut, "Cooleyhighharmony," and blew that out of the water with the massive mainstream success of their sophomore record, "II."

Now, that was a loooong time ago, and they're not quite the household name they once were. So "Love," a second set of covers following their hugely successful Decca Records debut, "Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA," isn't that much of a surprise. But even with their excellent harmonies intact, I really see no reason for them to be covering songs by The Manhattans, Cyndi Lauper (really?), Bonnie Raitt, the Beatles and (say it isn't so) Journey.

"Motown" reached No. 27 on the Billboard charts, and "Love" is definitely another shot in that direction, even if it's destined for the dentist's office waiting room.

It's a shame, though. Boyz II Men's great vocal chemistry could work well with any number of the excellent neo-soul producers out there. Instead, they get together with American Idol producer Randy Jackson for 13 shlocky covers of songs that, quite frankly, were pretty shlocky already.

And all of this is to make no mention of the fact that the group's coolest member, the guy who sang bass (Michael McCary, if you wanna get specific), is gone. Boo.

"Love" will be released Nov. 17.

Sussex Countian