Anthony follows his eponymous 1999 triple-platinum English-language breakthrough with an absolutely gorgeous collection that confirms his position as one of this generation's great male vocalists.

Anthony follows his eponymous 1999 triple-platinum English-language breakthrough with an absolutely gorgeous collection that confirms his position as one of this generation's great male vocalists. Lofty, but praise is earned by an artist who can go from such trendy, radio-friendly fare as the percussive smash-in-waiting "I Swear" to timeless, deliciously theatrical ballads like "She Mends Me." Anthony scores bonus points for gunning those all-important pop hits without enlisting the rapper du jour to make his tracks sound like everyone else's. Instead, he relies on savvy producers like Cory Rooney and such sharp tunesmiths as rising superstar Kara DioGuardi to help him shape material that will resonate today—and for years to come. Added pleasure comes from the fact that Mended is easily Anthony's most cohesive work to date. Despite its potential hits, this

is an album best consumed in total and not in pieces.—LF