WHEN A formula becomes so automatic that a singer can go through the motions without the slightest hint of passion, it's a good bet the formula has reached its dead end. For the lover-man, soul-singer formula -- created with such inspiration by Marvin Gaye and Teddy Pendergrass in the early '70s -- the dead end may well be the new Glenn Jones album, "All for You."
Jones, a child prodigy gospel singer, has a fine voice, and he calls on top songwriter-producers such as Teddy Riley, Barry Eastmond and Timmy Allen to help shape his new material. All the talent in the world, though, is no substitute for feeling, and this album is both numb and numbing.
The original lover-man soul songs were designed to coax a lover into bed; Jones's songs, by contrast, are calculated only to get radio airplay. Jones and his cohorts try to update the formula with programmed drums and synthesizers, but the microchip beats are as listless as the vocals.
Vincent Henry, the alto saxophonist that RCA is trying to promote as the next Kenny G, takes solos on two songs, but he only adds to the pervasive blandness. Genobia Jeter, another gospel prodigy with a big voice, sings a duet with Jones, "That's How Love Should Be," but she fails to transcend her surroundings. The album's first single, "Stay," is built atop a funk beat but falls asleep just as quickly.