A modern R&B superstar heavily influenced by R. Kelly, Avant came out of Cleveland in 2000, hitting the scene with his hugely successful debut album, My Thoughts. Bolstered by several big singles, it easily went platinum, as did its follow-up LP, Ecstasy. Originally released in 2006, Director is Avant's fourth album. Unlike the previous ones, it's front-loaded with marquee guest artists, including Lil Wayne (the single "You Know What"), Lloyd Banks ("Exclusive"), and The Pussycat Dolls ("Stickwitu"). As usual, Avant's highly emotional crooning shines through. The production (from Jermaine Dupri, Rodney Jerkins, and Bryan Michael Cox) provides a low-impact backdrop for his songs about love, lust, and the ups and downs of true romance. While it's nothing groundbreaking or exceptionally original, there are plenty of solid tunes here ideal for bedroom soundtracks. Check out "Mr. Dream" (with Pharrell Williams), "Now You Got Someone," and "4 Minutes."

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