Hello and welcome! I don't know about you, but we are in the middle of a crazy snow storm and the baby is eating a vanilla granola bar, so things are pretty good... And oh, husband, is that you? While I appreciate you popping by my blog and all, I found a super interesting preview of 2013 bicycle gear over at Gear Junkie... wouldn't you rather read that instead???
Okay, now that the husband's gone, let's get down to business. Why did I send him away, you ask? Well, let's be honest - his musical taste runs far "cooler" than mine, and this new Charlie Wilson album is the kind of thing that would make him gag and roll his eyes, especially since Wilson got his start in The Gap Band, who recorded perennial funk classics like "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" and the heavily-sampled "Outstanding". I, on the other hand, have a warm and very special place in my heart for '70s disco, funk, and R&B, and it only took listening to a couple of songs on this record to realize that I wanted to give it a great big hug and a weird bottom-squeeze. Because, while the sound is fairly standard retro-polished R&B, the tempos are up, the romantical cheese factor is deliciously high, and Wilson's voice is like buttah, baby. Oh yeah, I liked it.
So I know I already said this, but it bears repeating: this record breaks no new musical ground. Of course, it doesn't need to, because Wilson knows what he's doing, mixing enough funky elements and uptempo beats in to keep the listener's interest up, while still delivering an unpretentiously smooth, classic R&B album. "Our Anniversary" is a fairly standard, slick, retro R&B jam with awesome sappy lyrics ("Two tickets for us headed to paradise/Reservations, done, check/Flowers in my hand, smellin' good, check/So tell all of your friends to take a rain check"), and "Turn Off The Lights" layers sexy vocals over a smooth, whistling beat ("Tonight is a special night/Gonna take you to paradise"). My favorite song on the record is "My Baby", which dances in over a bangin' funk beat and delivers lyrics that would make Destiny's Child proud ("My baby/Brings in the money/Takes care of business/Knows how to get it done"), and I couldn't help but smile at the modern-love message in "Whisper" ("I could send it in a letter/I could text your phone/Hit you up on Twitter/Cause you stay logged on"). And while this record could SO EASILY veer into a cheese swamp, never to return, it doesn't - it's simply an enjoyable listen with a consistently high song quality. In fact, I will even go so far as to compare it to the R. Kelly-produced/written Isley Brothers stuff like Body Kiss, which has a much higher modern-cool factor, but a much lower consistency level and basic listenability (too many ballads, yo!). Basically, I'm a huge nerd. And I love it.