Today Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds produces and writes hits for some of the hottest artists in the music business, but he cut his chops with the late '70s group, Manchild. Manchild worked the midwest circuit and developed a sound that mixed elements of rhythm and blues with Jazz. They scored an R&B hit in 1978 with "Especially For You" and went their separate years later that year; this disc brings together the two albums they recorded as a group.
Released in 1997, after Babyface became one of the most popular and successful producers in pop music, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds & Manchild is a career-spanning compilation that covers all three albums by the '70s soul outfit. The group had only one hit -- "Especially for You" in 1977 -- and, listening to this 17-track collection, it's easy to see why: they weren't very good. Manchild was certainly competent, and on a few songs Babyface suggests that he had the talent he eventually developed, but only diehard fans of the contemporary soul man -- or fans of vocalist Reggie Griffin, who later launched a solo career -- will need to explore this collection. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine