Calvin Richardson was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and was signed to the Tommy Boy record label in the mid nineties with his vocal group Undacova who appeared on the soundtrack to New Jersey Drive but never released an album. He was then signed up by Universal Records and recorded and released his debut album Country Boy in 1999. Due to poor sales he was dropped by Universal Records and then signed with Hollywood Records with whom he released his second album entitled 2:35 PM, He released his third album this year with Shanachie Records, his latest album is called When Love Comes.
Calvin Richardson works with some well known names on this album including Cedric Hailey from KCI & JoJo. Calvin Richardson went to high school with the Hailey brothers and is married to their cousin. There was a rumour he was a half brother of theirs. Other contributions on the album come from Chico Debarge and also from Gerald Isaac.
1.) I'll Take her
This is a great start to the album and features guest vocals from Cedric Hailey or otherwise known as K-CI. Hailey opens the track with impassioned vocals. This is one of the best songs on the album and showcases both mens considerable vocal talent.
2.) Lovin You
This is another great track, Richardson's vocal delivery is very flowing and impassioned and the beat, guitars and keyboard work together well to compliment the vocals. A very good track indeed.
3.) Trust me so much
This is a fantastic cover of the classic soul ballad from the legendary Bobby Womack. The original is brought into the modern day with a catchy beat and Richardson has the vocal talent to make this song work. A very decent effort.
This is one of the weaker tracks on the album, It has a pleasant spoken opening but the beats are a little dated especially considering they were recorded in 1999 when they sound too much like early 90's. Not great but certainly not bad.
5.) Never Knew Love
This is probably the most poppy track on the album, A pleasant enough ballad about searching for true love after a few bad experiences. A decent enough track but one of the weaker links on Country Boy.
6.) True Love
This is a wonderful ballad which opens with military like drumming and then his gorgeous falsetto comes in, he then starts the verse in a deeper vocal tone and as he moves through the lyrics you get more and more into this track.
7.) Half The Time
This is a really gentle track with some 70's soul guitar licks and then his vocals come in. This is one of his best vocal performances and shows he could more than hold his own in the 70's soul era. A very very good track indeed.
8.) Looks like you've been crying
This is another laidback track that harks back to those days. His voice is very passionate and this is one of the best tracks on the album without any shadow of a doubt. This track is about being there when someone you love is upset in their relationship.
9.) Close My Eyes
This is a great slow track which again showcases his vocals. He sounds a lot like an early Stevie Wonder on this track especially. High praise indeed. Another great ballad which showcases his undoubted vocal talent. Female vocalist Monifah provides a good vocal performance aswell.
10.) Nightmare (Her Love)
This is a live version of this song and is a great ballad. His voice sounds just as good live so there is no hint of vocal trickery. One of the best songs on the album and he shows off with an amazing falsetto towards the end of the song when he errupts.
11.) Coming Home
Another mellow ballad which has hints of 70's soul. Some lovely piano with gentle guitar. One of the most superb tracks on the album and his superb voice shines through yet again. A very bold track that works superbly well.
12.) Country Boy
This is an outstanding title track, This is about his early life and about wanting to be loved by a partner as everyone does. A superb track which is another outstanding ballad. Some great backing vocals on this track too.
13.) Disrespectful Ghetto
This is a very funky track to end the album with, A very diverse track which features soulful guitar licks, funky beats and bass and with an underlying hip hop feel. As I said A great track to end the album with.
Calvin Richardson has a voice that drips with emotion and that has elements of a number of soul legends, most notably Stevie Wonder. Add to that he also plays all the instruments This is a very solid debut from one of todays greatest R&B vocalists. If you have not heard his music then check him out, you should not be dissapointed if you like a mix of 70's soul brought into todays world.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I'll Take Her
2 Lovin' You
3 Trust Me So Much
5 Never Knew Love
6 True Love
7 Half The Time
8 Looks Like (You've Been Crying)
9 Close My Eyes
10 Nightmare (Her Love)
11 Coming Home
12 Country Boy
13 Disrespectful Ghetto