Everyone remembers Faith Evans for I'll Be Missing You, her duet with Puff Daddy that was the biggest selling single of 1997. Now, after years of being overshadowed by her late husband the Notorious BIG, the 28-year-old mother of three is beginning to emerge as a serious talent in her own right. Faithfully is her most serious bid for solo stardom yet, a chilled-out collection of adult soul that revolves around the lyrical themes of lost love, urban tensions and the trials of motherhood. Evans's shimmery, seductive voice is certainly a remarkable instrument and it's just a shame that the material doesn't always do it justice - the inclusion of too many limp, sugary ballads lets the album down badly. Fortunately the ubiquitous production team of the Neptunes are on hand to (partially) save the day, contributing a handful of hip-hop grooves and funky dance samples that show what Evans might be capable of a couple of albums down the line.
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