Gemini

Brian McKnight's eighth studio album already has a head start, having spun off two adult R&B hits: the Grammy Award-nominated "What We Do Here" and "Everytime You Go Away." But he is bent on showi

Brian McKnight's eighth studio album already has a head start, having spun off two adult R&B hits: the Grammy Award-nominated "What We Do Here" and "Everytime You Go Away." But he is bent on showing here that he can be more than just an AC fixture. That's apparent right from the start of "Gemini," which opens with McKnight doo-woppin' with himself on the a cappella "Stay With Him." He then punches up the proceedings with the energetic groove "Grown Man Business," channels his inner Prince with a piano-and-falsetto turn on "Everything I Do" and taps into his jazz alter ego for the delicious "Stay." For the most part, McKnight succeeds in his quest to stretch beyond his love ballad persona. However, his pairing up, once again, with rappers—Talib Kweli and Juvenile—still doesn't feel like it fits.—GM