As the Otis Williams-fronted Temptations learned with Ear-Resistible, the group's surprisingly successful album from a year earlier, it's best to play it safe and stay true to the times. And that's precisely what Williams does on Awesome, an album that models itself after Ear-Resistible. There are mostly ballads here and some innocent concessions to the hip-hop audience. Overall, though, this is the Temptations sounding like the Temptations, albeit a tender yet resilient Temptations. There aren't any "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"s here and there aren't any "Cloud Nine"s, just sappy, utopian love songs and some extra-lite music lingering safely in the background. This is how sequels should sound -- modestly like their predecessors. However, the modest sense of submission makes Awesome less rewarding than Ear-Resistible. There are few surprises, and the few surprises you do encounter are more calculated than inspired -- the calling card of a, perhaps unfortunately, content veteran act. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi

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