Personnel includes: Deborah Cox (vocals); Dallas Austin, Vassal Benford, Larry "Rock" Campbell, Vincent Herbert, Lascelles Stephens, Ben Garrison (various instruments); John "Jubu" Smith (acoustic guitar); Michael Thompson (guitar); Derrick Edmondson (saxophone); Vance Taylor (piano); Alvin Parker (organ); Bob Robinson, Babyface, Satoshi Tomiie, Eric Kupper, Tery Burrus, Keith Andes, Darryl Brundige (keyboards); Daryl Simmons (keyboards, synthesizer, drum programming, background vocals); Tim Kelley (keyboards, drums); Keith Crouch (keyboards, percussion, drum programming); Dean Gant (synthesizer); Keith Thomas (synthesizer, bass); Colin Wolfe, Ronnie Garrett, Sam Simms (bass); Mark Hammond (drums); Rick Sheppard (programming); Debra Killings, Tann, Sheree Ford Payne, Valerie Davis, Valerie Young, Audrey Wheeler, Ada Dyer, Lisa Bernard (backround vocals).
Producers: Dallas Austin (tracks 1, 6); Larry "Rock" Campbell (track 2);
Daryl Simmons (track 3); Keith Crouch (track 4); Vassal Benford, Vincent
Herbert (track 5); Keith Thomas (track 7); Tim & Bob (track 8); Babyface,
Keith Andes (track 9); Dallas Austin, Tim & Bob (track 10); David Morales
(track 11); Vincent Herbert (track 12).
Engineers: Leslie Brathwaite (track 1, 6); Victor Flores, Chris Trevett, Ara
Darakjian (track 2); Thom "TK" Kidd (track 3); Eugene Lo (track 4); Victor
Flores, Ben Garrison (track 5); Bill Whittington (track 7); Hans Gutknecht,
Darin Prindle (track 8); Brad Gilderman, Martin Horenburg (track 9); Brian K.
Smith, Leslie Brathwaite (track 10); Hugo Dwyer (track 11); Ben Garrison
Like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, Deborah Cox straddles the line between soul and pop, appealing to adult contemporary and R&B fans in equal measures. She is a confident and stylish singer, but her self-titled debut is helped by considerably by the powerhouse producers work behind the scenes. Featuring tracks produced by Babyface, Dallas Austin, and Daryl Simmons among others, the record is filled with immaculately crafted dance-pop and ballads. Not all of the songs are up to the production standards, however. Like many singers in her genre, Deborah Cox is only as good as her material, and the songs on their debut are uneven. She shines on the hit "Sentimental" and several other cuts, including "Never Gonna Break My Heart Again" and the poppy "Who Do U Love," but nearly half of the record consists of undistinguished material. Nevertheless, the best songs on the album suggests that Cox has the potential to develop into a star. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine