As one of the architects of modern R&B, Babyface has long solidified his icon status. So it would be easy for him to fall back and choose a soft life of rest, relaxation and royalty checks. (And, quite honestly, although we'd be sad, we wouldn't be mad.) However, instead of luxuriating like a living legend of his caliber deserves, Kenny Edmonds is still in the game with a new record deal on Capitol Records. For his first project on the historic label, the 12-time GRAMMY Award winner decided to invite a handful of contemporary R&B's leading ladies and up-and-comers to join him on the new album Girls Night Out.
Led by the hit single "Keeps On Fallin'" featuring fellow GRAMMY winner Ella Mai, Girls Night Out is a robust compilation of collaborations executive produced by Babyface and Rika Tischendorf. The lead single is arguably the project's strongest cut, but it's in great company.
Additional standouts include the Kehlani-featuring second single "Seamless," "Liquor" by Ari Lennox, "Simple" featuring Coco Jones, Tiana Major9's contribution "Say Less," Muni Long's "The Recipe" and the title cut, which ends the album with 2022's breakout star Doechii killing it on an uptempo dance cut as she is known to do.
The remaining roster of talent on Girls Night Out looks like a current R&B all-star game. There's Queen Naija on the album's third single "Game Over," singers/rappers Tink on the track "Whatever" and Baby Tate on "Don't Even Think About It," Afro-fusion star Amaarae on "One Good Thing" and R&B hot girl Sevyn Streeter and Tkay Maidza inviting listeners to ride out in their "G Wagon." Edmonds even gets a contribution from radio personality Angie Martinez and actress La La Anthony on a skit that begins the album (and quite honestly could have been left off as it adds nothing to the project).
Babyface pulls solid vocal performances out of all of his collaborators, and his contributions to each track enhance and don't overpower or outshine his partners. It's clear that the women are the focus, and he is happy to play the background while they bask in the spotlight.
Girls Night Out has been compared to 1995's Waiting To Exhale soundtrack, Babyface's previous foray into executive producing an album featuring songs performed by only women. That comparison actually does this album a disservice as the eras, vibes, artists and songs couldn't be more different.
You won't find a Whitney Houston-esque voice or the heartwarming, timeless lyrics of "Count On Me" on Girls Night Out. But you will find a good time from the real and raw perspective of the R&B girls of today. Instead of looking in the rearview mirror, Babyface is holding a mirror up to the current crop of women in Black music and we are enjoying the view.
Babyface Girls Night Out [Amazon][Apple Music][TIDAL]- Advertisement -