Far too few performers in modern R&B can boast that they're better onstage than on disc. But the ability to make that claim isn't the only unusual thing about Lyfe Jennings. A guitar-toting ex-con from Toledo, Ohio, with a huge voice and the ambition to match it, Jennings plays more than just a loveman on his sophomore album, The Phoenix. Alongside the cover of Tupac's "Keep Ya Head Up" and the shock-value lyrics of "Biggie Nigga" are tales of traditional morality; "S.E.X.", a plea for abstinence, is even sung from a young woman's point of view. In other words, there' s a lot of Phoenix to digest, but Jennings' heartfelt performance style should guarantee it won't be a turkey live.
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