July 02, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it an A-

It’s easy to be turned off by an R&B newcomer who opens his debut by claiming he’s ”a shining star here to break you off a bomb,” except that this Philly native has the stuff to back his boasts up. He sings (really well), he writes, he produces, he plays a lot of instruments, he collaborates with Dr. Dre. And he’s turned out one of the best nuevo soul albums of the year with 1st Born Second. One shining star, comin atcha.

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