After Next's debut album went double platinum, it left everyone wondering what they'd do next. Enter in their sophomore album, 'Welcome II Nextasy.' Though this album lacks a track like the platinum hit "Too Close" (from their debut album), Next avoids the sophomore jinx by putting together a decent combination of hip hop and R&B.
The group's main flow is R&B, but member RL throws down the occasional rap attack. As well, featured artists Beanie Sigel, Lil Mo and 50 Cent spice up their tracks with a hip hop flare. In fact, "What U Want" has a definite Naughty By Nature feel to it, due possibly to the influence of Naughty By Nature producer, Kay Gee. However, KayGee did not produce this track, despite being responsible for ten of the 13 Next songs. "Cybersex" has a funky beat, but the instant that you find yourself singing along to lyrics like "...feigning for your PC...", "... oh technology, wow!", you'll feel like the ultimate geek.
Next hasn't quite hit the next level yet, but they've definitely maintained. Nearly every song is above average, but none stand out as amazing. If you're an R&B fiend, then this album will most likely grow on you. However, don't buy this album expecting an automatic ticket to Nextasy. They're still just Next, they're still experimenting and they've still got a bit of room for improvement.
(Originally posted on HipHopCanada.com)
This review was written July 6, 2000