By Will Martinez , Special to the Chronicle
"Til the Morning" is Keith Sweat's eleventh studio album and third since 2008. He has gone through three record labels since then and has struggled to produce a hit. That being said, his music is still real, passionate and soulful as ever. Keith Sweat proved on "Til the Morning" that he is still the Keith we all know and love. Since his self-titled album "Keith Sweat," released in 1996, he has struggled to produce many hits. "Twisted" and "Nobody" are no doubt his two biggest songs and they both appear on his "Keith Sweat" album.
"Til the Morning" comes with good news and bad news. The good news is that Keith Sweat sounds at his best and is still singing about that true love. The bad news is that the album does not have a standout hit. The albums best songs are, "My Valentine," where he features Coko of SWV and "Make You Say Ooh," which is the album's only single. The former reminds me of the duets between Keith Sweat and Kut Klose back in the mid 1990's. Keith Sweat's voice compliments a soothing and relaxed female voice very well. "My Valentine" and "Make You Say Ooh" stick out because of their smooth flow and beautiful rhythm that make you want to grab your love and just groove.
"Lady De Jour," "Candy Store," "Til the Morning," and "Knew it All Along," are also great songs in which Keith Sweat finds a solid message and sticks to it throughout the song. The latter he performs with Johnny Gill and Gerald Levert; the trio were former members of the group, LSG.
My criticism comes mostly with "To the Middle," in which Keith Sweat performs a song with pop-icon, T-Pain. The song does not have a solid message, as T-Pain sings, "how many licks until I get to the middle." This is an example of what R&B/Soul is coming to; ridiculous lyrics, auto tune, and lazy beats. The song is very unlike Keith Sweat and I am surprised it is on the album. Seeing Keith Sweat in concert this summer, I know how beautiful and silky his words can be and "To the Middle" is not a reminder of that.
So, now the real question, is this album worth buying? The answer is absolutely. "Til The Morning" reminds me of what music used to be like, where love is an underlying theme and not drugs, sex or violence. Although this album struggles to have a prominent hit that grabs attention, almost all the songs on the album are cool, soothing reminders that Keith Sweat's still got it.
Album rating: B+