Ralph Tresvant

As the last member of New Edition to make a spin-off album, Tresvant is clearly under pressure to prove he can crack the top 10 as his bandmates Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, and Bell Biv DeVoe have. So it’s not terribly surprising that Ralph Tresvant, with contributions from writer-producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, among others, swings in the new-jack R&B style of those records. Skip the hit-or-miss attempts at rap and funk (such as ”Rated R,” on which Tresvant tries to talk tough but merely sounds silly). His specialty is the suave love song, and the ballads supplied to him by Jam and Lewis (particularly the first single, ”Sensitivity”) are as solid as anything that duo concocted for Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. And as heard in his gorgeously plush vocals, Tresvant is a better singer than Jackson. Sticklers might complain that the varied tone he takes in his many hymns to fidelity makes it sound as if he might not be singing to the same woman. But that’s never stopped a good seduction song before. B+

Ralph Tresvant
  • Music