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Album Review

Ginuwine, 'A Man's Thoughts'

June 22, 2009
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R&B
Ginuwine A Man's Thoughts
Asylum
ESSENTIAL “Get Involved’’

The smooth R&B vocalist Ginuwine switches on his loverman supreme persona with a set that is almost exclusively dedicated to late-night ballads. It’s kind of hard to believe this is the same singer who emerged with the grind groove “Pony’’ more than a decade ago. But guys grow up and slow down. In a time when hip-hop and R&B artists are taking salaciousness to the nth degree, Ginuwine turns to open-hearted devotion and sweet understatement on tracks like “One Time for Love’’ and “Open the Door.’’ He mans up, taking responsibility for mistakes and tries to salvage love on “Last Chance,’’ the disc’s defining song. The record is about a man understanding the complexities of relationships and what a woman needs. There are some songs with giddy-up, especially the big bounce of “Get Involved,’’ featuring Timbaland and Missy Elliott. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the disc, but who cares when it’s this great a ride with a cool Timba groove and Elliott’s sly, quick verse? What Ginuwine seems to be saying here is that a real man’s thoughts are not what everyone thinks they are these days. (Out tomorrow)

KEN CAPOBIANCO