by Donte Kirby
Why Tevin Campbell never became a legend the likes of Usher or the longevity of R. Kelly is beyond me. His character Powerline in A Goofy Movie was great, every song an instant ear worm. Then there’s his sophomore album I’m Ready. Any ’90s babies know the chart toppers “Can We Talk” and “I’m Ready”. With credits involving both Prince and Babyface, I’m Ready rocketed through the dreaded sophomore slump and was Campbell’s most successful album to date.
The success of the album’s singles is a gift and a curse for those jumping into I’m Ready or Tevin Campbell as a whole. The album is more standard R&B fare than the pop upbeat tempo of “Can We Talk” would have you believe.
“Shh” is a sensual cover of Prince’s love ballad and “Infant Child” showcases the angelic qualities of Campbell’s voice. If a sensual angel sounds odd to you, then that the rest of I’m Ready‘s tracks may be better lost than found. Otherwise your in for some solid R&B. “Don’t Say Goodbye Girl” has a similar melody to single “I’m Ready”, it’s just slowed down with more subdued keys.
The tracks that lean more towards the New Jack Swing side of things like “Paris 1798430” and “Uncle Sam” are where Campbell’s cheerful vocal register shines. Something about Campbell’s croon feels right backed by some light melodies and beats.
If you’ve ever seen A Goofy Movie and couldn’t stop singing “if we listen to each others heart’s” than you owe it to yourself to give I’m Ready a once over with the ears. If you’ve never seen A Goofy Movie, you owe it to yourself to have a childhood and get on that.