Some musicians are able to take their experiences—good, bad or otherwise—and craft emotional songs that everyone can relate to.

Some musicians are able to take their experiences—good, bad or otherwise—and craft emotional songs that everyone can relate to. That's what newcomer Lyfe Jennings attempts to do on his debut here. The Toledo, Ohio, native shares his experiences as a hustler and a convicted felon—the album title refers to his inmate number—over smooth R&B tracks. Lead single "Must Be Nice" works well as a midtempo showcase for his throaty tenor as he croons about finding the perfect love. Jennings is particularly effective on such songs as the spiritual "26 Years, 17 Days," "Greedy" and "She Got Kids." But his narration of the album, which plays between songs, quickly becomes tiring and annoying. Despite that, "Lyfe 268-192" is one promising debut.—RH