Virgin Records America
I know that this isn't the newest Soul album out there but it has the unique distinction of being the album that got me to pay attention to Soul music again. For a while there I had become sort of bored and disillusioned about the genre. It's really my own fault, though. Well, partially my fault anyhow. I spent way too much time and money on Puff-Daddy R&B/Soul but after a while, I started getting bored with it. I mean, it got to the point there for a while where the rappers guesting on the tracks weren't even rapping about the same topic of the song they were on (peep most of Mase's cameos on R&B records before he left Bad Boy). In a sense it was my fault for not being more exploratory but I mean, that was what was on constant rotation on the radio - plus if you went to any party that was the music that you danced to. Well, I got bored and moved on to other stuff...
...then I heard this album.
I had heard of Dwele - mostly from his appearances on Dilla and Slum Village records - but I missed his first solo album entirely. A friend of mine let me hear the Slum V. collabo of this album (the most excellent "Keep On") and immediately I wanted to listen to Soul music again. I'm not saying that Dwele is the greatest to ever do Soul music, I'm just saying that this album brought me back to the genre off a few years away. This album is Soulful. I realized when I listened to for the first time that much of the music I was listening to in the genre lacked that element. Sure it made the booty shake and was practically a meme amongst my group of friends - we all knew all the lyrics and could rap all the choruses - but it lacked an emotional center and were generally exercises in style over substance (anyone else remember Soul For Real's transition from baby-faced youngsters to thugged out gangsters?).
Again, I'm not saying that I wasn't feeling that stuff. I just outgrew it. Which brings us to "Some Kinda".
Dwele is on some souled out, mellow jazzy feel it in your bones tip. Most of the up-tempo standouts will have you smiling and moving your head in that slow side-to-side motion that good soul music will inevitably make you do (listen to "Know Your Name" to find out what I mean).
Another thing I loved about the album was that Dwele seemed to take a lot of the edge off of some of the prevailing R&B/Soul aggression. Peep how he is able to disarm the "I'm a Pimp" cliche' and make it fresh on "A Pimp's Dream."
Who's this girl and
Who's this girl
Together like plural, oh no, oh no
Say you wanna ride
With this super fly
How can I decline
I can't, no way
The album is rife with baby making classics as well to round it out. I also appreciated the sparse use of rappers on the track. Besides the rapper collaboration was with Slum Village at the top of their game, so how can you go wrong there.
I know that there are a lot of great Soul records out there and for some maybe this album wouldn't rank in their top 10 list of great Soul albums - maybe even for the year 2005. But it holds a special place for me because it made me realize how much I loved this genre and how it can make you feel when done well. Well, this is a very well done Soul record and I felt I needed to share it with you.
...so pick it up and make some babies to it! ;)
4.000 out of 5
|1. Continued / Holla (05:10)||4|
|2. A Pimp's Dream (04:34)||5|
|3. Know Your Name (04:17)||5|
|4. My Lova / Movement (06:25)||5|
|5. Flapjacks (03:36)||3|
|6. Caught Up (01:13)|
|7. Weekend Love (03:44)||3|
|8. Lay It Down (04:41)||4|
|9. I Think I Love U (03:41)||2|
|10. Continuation (00:43)|
|11. Keep On (feat. Slum Village) (03:37)||5|
|12. Some Kinda Prelude (... And So It Is) (feat. Poppa Yo) (01:09)|
|13. Some Kinda... (feat. Antwan Gardner) (05:14)||4|
|14. Wake the Baby (feat. Boney James) (03:57)||4|
|15. Old Lovas (04:42)||4|