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Thursday, April 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 48.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Paper


Sterling Simms: Yours, Mine & The Truth
(Def Jam)

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Philadelphia native Sterling Simms is a born singer. He grew up chiming along to the songs of Sam Cooke. He recorded his first record at age 6, and now, 20 years later, his debut album is being released on a major label.

From the opening piano chords on "All I Need," Simms establishes a wide vocal range that's always as smooth and delicate as the down-tempo R&B love songs he's singing. This is a romance record, and Simms' voice is wine and roses on every track.

Despite his talent, Simms is too often let down by the poor quality of the musical production. There's plenty of instrumentation on this record, but it universally sounds canned. That goes for the guitar on "Single" and the piano on "All I Need." The percussion on "Jump Off" is the definition of a bland beat.

There's a lot of collaboration here among the stars of contemporary hit radio. Sean Paul and Jadakiss both have cameos.

The problem is plain to see. There's too much industry yours and mine here and not enough of Sterling Simms' own truth.

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