Calvin Richardson, "America's Most Wanted"

78 Billboard Rating

There's nothing forced or fake about Calvin Richardson's vocal talent; his voice naturally exudes soul. And when it comes to songwriting, Richardson definitely knows his way around a strong song: With Babyface, he co-wrote the Charlie Wilson hit "There Goes My Baby." Both skill sets take center stage on Richardson's fifth album and follow-up to his tribute to soul icon Bobby Womack, the 2009 release "Facts of Life." Highlights include "Feels Like We Sexin'," a worthy heir apparent to R. Kelly's "Step in the Name of Love," and several emotion-drenched ballads ("Never Do You Wrong," "Come Over" and "Adore You"). Listening to Richardson's delivery on these standout tracks, it's easy to understand why he earned the nickname "Soul Prince." Undermining those efforts, however, are such repetitive and formulaic selections as "You Possess My Body" and "Thug Livin'." Despite these hiccups, Richardson's latest effort brings him another step closer to deservedly becoming one of America's most wanted soul singers.

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