"Explore your southern district" is something you'd expect to hear from R. Kelly.

"Explore your southern district" is something you'd expect to hear from R. Kelly. But this phrase from opener "I'll Do for You" is just one of several pleasant surprises on the new album by venerable R&B trio the Main Ingredient. Best known for such Cuba Gooding Sr.-fronted hit singles as 1972's "Everybody Plays the Fool," the group scored earlier success with deceased original member Donald McPherson on 1971's "Spinning Around (I Must be Falling in Love)." This latest incarnation features founding members Tony Silvester and Luther Simmons, plus Carlton Blount. Not every track works: "The Dance," for example, comes off as formulaic. But Blount's tantalizing vocals bring to life such cuts as "Will You Marry Me," the melodic "I Love You," triumphant lead single "We Got Us," and the bouncy "I Won't Let You Do That to me," with R&B newcomer/labelmate Natasha Coward.—GM