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After reading the first review of this album on Dooyoo courtesy of the excellent XICripZ I decided to give the album a listen and searched on google for the album. I was aware of Keith Sweat before the review through his solo career aswell as his time in the R&B trio LSG with Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill. After doing a little reading on Keith Sweat I was suprised to discover that his first album was released in 1987 and he had released a total of 11 solo albums to date.
This self titled album from Keith Sweat was released in 1996 and features a number of collaborations, these include Ron Isley and Gerald Levert. The album features four singles, these are as follows Nobody, Twisted, Come with me and Just a touch. This album has proved to be his biggest selling album to date with sales over 5 million and reaching 5 on the US Billboard chart. Here's my review of the album.
1.) Twisted ft Pretty Russ & Kut Klose
This starts the album off with a laid back mid tempo R&B groove. As the drum beat moves along there's a nice gentle keyboard part which is subtle and works rather well. The addition of the smooth female backing vocals courtesy of Kut Klose add a nice touch and this is a solid if a little unexciting start to the album.
2.) Funky Dope Lovin' ft Gerald Levert, Aaron Hall & Buddy Banks
This is a funky slow track which has some nice backing sounds from the keys and drum loops. Once in full flow this is one of the best tracks on the album and the addition of Gerald Levert really works a treat as he shows his vocal range to good effect here. Good stuff.
This is a slower track than before and the synthesizers are used frequently on this particular track, It has a mid nineties feel and his voice sounds at his best on this track. This track shows that he has talent and hints at what he is capable off at his best.
4.) Whatever You Want
This continues the progression into the Ballads, This has a bedroom style with Sweat singing about how he is willing to give his woman what she wants in the bedroom. This is a sensual track which works quite well but is just short of being one of the best tracks on the album.
5.) Just A Touch
This brings the music from R&B balladry to New Jack Swing. This does not quite work and as a result is one of the weaker tracks on the album, His voice is not up to the best he can do and the sound is overall a little dated in my opinion.
6.) Freak With Me
This is a better track which leans away from The New Jack Swing influence into a more Hip Hop/Rap based style. As a result this track has a much better flow and is one of the more enjoyable up-tempo tracks on the album. There are elememts similar to a Montell Jordan type track.
7.) Natures Rising (Interlude)
8.) Come With Me
Now this is back to what he is best at, A sensual Love ballad, his vocals are deep and emotive and this is a great collaboration with the legendary Ron Isley from The Isley Brothers. This proves that he's more suited to the slow ballads than the more up-tempo tracks.
9.) In The Mood
This reminds me a little of R Kelly and a little of Ginuwine in the way that it's performed. This is one of the best tracks on the album and again shows that he is at his best with the ballads.
10.) Show Me The Way (Another Interlude)
This track features Athena Cage and is a sensual mid tempo ballad which has a hard beat which does not really sit with the feel of the song. It would have been better had it been a soft more taut beat than on offer here. A shame as it could have been good.
12.) Chocolate Girl
This is the closing track on the album and tells the story of a woman he is attracted to, A decent end to the album but the beat does not do it for me just like the previous track.
While there are some good ballads here I am afraid his talent is being obscured by some of the other tracks somewhat lesser quality. At his best he deserves respect in the genre but he is not at his best very often and his vocals can grate when the song is not up to the standard of his best work. This is a decent album but gets three stars from me instead of four due to the weaker mid to up-tempo tracks which are not that good. So summing up I would recommend listening to these tracks and download a few but only buy the CD if you like the majority of these tracks.
Keith Sweat released his self-entitled fifth album in 1996, and it turned out to be the biggest-selling record of the R&B singer's career. It features some of his most well-known material, amongst those you find "Nobody and "Twisted".
This is a classic R&B song, and amongst the best of its sort from the time as it was done just before all the other heavyweights in the game dropped highly-emotive songs. He had the edge though with his soulful, deep, Barry White-esque take on it, and I would be surprised if you can't recall this one as he explains a situation which his girl seems to have got "Twisted" on her head.
2. "Funky Dope Lovin'"
To move on the from one prior to it, you have more of the same sort of thing as although we progress a little with beats at a mid-tempo level, this one gets him showing you his way of getting down with the girls in a way that others simply can't comprehend. It has him working with some of the best names in the day's R&B working with him as Buddy Banks, Gerald Levert and Aaron hall all sing with him here in a monster collaboration.
He drops the pace to one which he feels a lot more comfortable with for this one as he drops one which uses the winding synthesizers which where an essential for the low-tempo love sensual and intense songs of this mid-nineties era of R&B. It has him doing things which only he can, and to the degree which only he is able to reach.
4. "Whatever You Want"
As things progress it appears that he getting more towards the ballad type of form with the way that the song is constructed and the form which is taken with it, however it appears that he is keeping things the same with the content of the lyrics as he just wishes to do things with hi girl in the bedroom, but as this is all we've had up to this point, it seesm to be wearing out by this point.
5. "Just A Touch"
Finally you get a significant lift in the music as you get him doing a Swing tune to get you on your feet after what was a tiresome sequence of strong, low-tempo songs. However I would have to say that due to the fact that this finds him at a time when New Jack Swing, what he came up through, had completely phased out, it just didn't have the punch that they did to drive it forward.
6. "Freak With Me"
It seems that here he finds the best alternative to the New Jack Swing with the new take on Rap-influence R&B being a lot more like actual Hip Hop, he chooses to take from the type of thing which Montell Jordan did with "This is How We Do It", with a tune which takes things to the West Side with a little G-Funk bringing this side of things up, and it makes for a big jam from him.
7. "Nature's Rising" (Lude)
8. "Come With Me"
He drops the tempo right down again and chooses to get back into the type of thing which opened up the album as e puts on his deepest voice to perform an introduction to this song and really get you into the right mood to accompany what is to come with the material within this one. He does things the right here where he explores more within the usual boundaries of this type of love song. He gets the opportunity to work with Ronald Isley (of the Isley Brothers) on this one, and it gives it a great boost (taking you back to the seventies (or eighties)).
9. "In The Mood"
I'm sure you can guess what mood Keith is in for this song, as it isn't likely to surprise you to any degree whatsoever that he's down for some lovemaking at this point in it. Here the start of the track indicates that we may be in for another speed alteration, but he takes it down to the level where you expect to get it as he just gets down to what you know is inevitable (and still not for the final time on the record).
10. "Show Me The Way" (Lude)
This was another of the big singles from the album and you really should recognise it. Due to the fact that it has had a lot more exposure than a lot of the others on the album it really stands out and brings you out of the album for a bit as he sings about how he is the best their is when it comes to pleasing girls.
12. "Chocolate Girl"
Ending the album you having him smoothing things out once again as he pulls out every last bit of sensuality for this song in an attempt to show listeners that he isn't about to let you forget wat this album was all about as he does a track where he sings to attract the only girls who really appeal to him and make him feel the way he did in track #9.
If you are into your sensual love songs then this is a perfect choice for an album as it is filled with tracks of this nature, and when this isn't the focus, its about the times when he's frustrated that he isn't able to get this. This means that it lacks variation, but goes all-out when attempting top express things in this specific field.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Funky Dope Lovin'
4 Freak With Me
5 Nature's Rising
6 Just A Touch
7 Whatever You Want
8 Come With Me
9 Show Me The Way
10 In The Mood
11 Chocolate Girl