Thursday, June 11, 2009

Let Love Be

Elliott Yamin: Let Love Be
From Let Love Be (Hickory, 2009)

Elliott Yamin has been fighting a good deal of bad reviews (Slant, SoulTracks, AllMusic, etc.)with the his sophomore album, Fight for Love. Some are calling it a fight to survive the obvious pop vs. R&B dilemma. And some are just saying he's lost a little bit of his luster while trying to write or co-write every song on board.

Think Stephen Thomas Erlewine at AllMusic said it best when he said:
"Yamin remains an ingratiating presence, possessed with a natural, almost accidental charm that's so endearing that it's hard not to wish that he was in warmer surroundings than these, or at least had a better collection of songs to sing."

Truthfully, Yamin's talent - with that gutsy soulful Donny Hathaway influence - is probably one of the better offerings to emerge from the shadows of that pop Idol institution. And he still gives us that enjoyable magic on the opening track, "Let Love Be." Hopefully it will be released as a single after the steam from the title track dries up. The song has that "get-up-and-go" drive and the smart hip-hop beats that easily compliments Yamin's vocal charms. I have to say: I keepz this one on repeat.

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