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Lemar may have finished third on the BBC's 2002 talent show Fame Academy (David Sneddon won it) but you have to give him credit for going on to have a successful recording and live performance career.
I would class him as a soul/R & B slow tempo, very cool delivery type singer.
Fame Academy was billed as a talent contest for unsigned, amateur acts but in fact Lemar had already been a professional support act for some well known names and had been signed to the big BMG label but things didn't work out for various reasons and at the time of Fame Academy he had a job working with Nat West Bank.
During Fame Academy Lionel Richie was a guest mentor and duetted with Lemar. It was obvious that Lionel had a lot of respect for Lemar's singing.
All of that said, in my opinion, the only good (bordering on great) track on this album is "If There's Any Justice". The rest of the tracks are to my ear boring background type soul music.
As I say though give him a lot of credit as he is also the writer of the impressive "If There's Any Justice"
There is a low quality 12 page inlay card but it does at least have all of the song lyrics.
Full track listings and running times:
1. Soulman 3:18
2. Better Than This 3:22
3. I Don't Mind That 3:34
4. What If 4:28
5. Call Me Daddy 3:19
6. If There's Any Justice 3:49
7. Don't Give It Up 3:43
8. Time To Grow 3:43
9. Complicated Cupid 3:37
10. Maybe Just Maybe 3:35
11. Feels Right 4:09
12. All I Ever Do/Boo Part II 4:10
13. I Believe In A Thing Called Love 3.36
This review is also posted on www.ciao.co.uk
under my user name bella6789
This is Lemar's second album to be released after finishing third on the BBC's talent show 'Fame Academy'.
This is a beautifully put together album with some amazing soul songs and a few nice upbeat r&b tracks. Lemar has a gorgeous voice and sometimes, I feel, does not challenge himself as much as I would like him to. His voice seems far too comfortable on some of these songs.
'Soulman' is the intro track to the album and signals Lemar's intentions to be the best soul singer the UK has to offer. He has easily achieved this.
'If There's Any Justice' is the first single to be released from the album and had some success, reaching number three in the UK chart. This is a beautiful song which deals with unrequited love.
'Time To Grow' is the title track and second single from this album and reached only number nine in the UK chart. Some of the success of this track can be traced to the excellent Kings Of Soul mix which was available on the single.
'Don't Give It Up' was the third and final single to be released from this album, reaching number twenty-one in the UK Chart. This was a disappointing amount of sales considering the quality of the track.
Lemars cover of The Darkness track 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' is included as a Bonus Track.
This is a great album which solidified Lemar's status as the best soul singer in the UK.
This is the second album from Fame Academy's Lemar. After the success of his debut album Dedicated he returned to the studio to record his follow up Time To Grow. The album was released in November of 2004 after being recorded throught that year. The album has been certified double platinum by the BPI and is the second biggest selling Lemar album to date behind The Truth about love which charted as high as number three in the album charts in the United Kingdom.
**Time To Grow**
This is a great catchy track to the album, it has a very catchy bass hook and some nice dramatic strings in the background along with some smooth backing vocals. A very good uptempo start to the album.
2. Better than This
Another very good uptempo track, This has a great thumping beat that will test your hifi's timing. The distinctive vocals from Lemar are centre stage and this is a very flowing and extremely catchy song.
3. I Don't mind that
The beat to this track has a feel of a mid ninties track, the keyboards work well with the beats to create a nice track. Lemar's voice flows through the track brilliantly and this is a very good track which will have your toe tapping along to the beat.
4. What If
This is a really great song with a very emotive subject, The subject of the song is about fate bringing you together. These lyrics best represent the feel of the song. "Everyday was the same old thing Waking up out of bed Put my shoes on,
Off to work Just tryna get ahead Jumped into my ride
To avoid the lines Girl I took a different way Corner of white hart lane You were passing by That's when I saw your face
Girl" The beat of the drum also adds a great catchy touch.
5. Call me Daddy
This drum sequence is very tricky for your hifi to reproduce accurately. A very flowing track with Lemar's vocals giving the track a great deal of it's appeal. Not the best he has done but a very good track due to his vocals.
6. If There's any justice
This is the most well known track of the album and is the first ballad on the album, One this track Lemar talks you through a woman who he has feelings for but she always goes for them wrong men and ends up getting hurt. A great track with a great meaning.
7. Don't give it up
This is an interesting track which talks to young girls about not losing their virginity too early and especially when they are not ready. A very good track that could be even better with a more mellow feel instead of the catchy beat and uptempo feel.
8. Time To Grow
This is the title track of the album and is a superb ballad, This piano led track is up there with the best he has done. The track is about how you feel after a relationship ending and about the time it takes you to get over the person and to grow again. An outstanding ballad that is superbly performed by Lemar.
9. Complicated Cupid
This is another very catchy uptempo track, this has a nice feel but doesnt have that same spark as the best on Time to Grow. A nice track to dance to but not a very memorable one which you will play everytime you listen to the album.
10. Maybe just Maybe
This is an interesting ballad with a taut bassline and some nice gentle guitars. The track is about falling for someone else whilst both of you are in relationships with someone else. A common relationship problem. A great track.
11. Feels right
This opens with the keyboard and bass and then Lemar's vocals come in. He is on top form despite this song not being quite as good as the best. A nice ballad that lacks something to add the extra marks. Not bad though.
12. All I ever do My Boo/pt2
This follows up from All I ever do my boo on his debut album Dedicated. The first one was a great acoustic track, Pt 2 is an interesting track with some soulful piano licks and Lemar's gentle vocals. I like each one in different ways.
13. I Believe in a thing called love
This is a cover of The Darkness, the track is basically just Lemar on vocals and the soft tones of the electric guitar. He also performs parts of Marvin Gaye's classic What's goin on and also KCI & JoJo's All My Life. This bonus track is a very worthwile addition to the album and is something that he performs in his live shows. He has the rare ability to make a song his own when he is doing a cover.
This is a very good album indeed with a good mix of uptempo tracks and ballads, my only gripe is that it does have a little too many uptempo tracks and not enough ballads in my opinion, That is what loses the album it's fifth star so I am only giving it four stars which is still a very good result.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Soul Man
2 Better Than This
3 I Don't Mind That
4 What If
5 Call Me Daddy
6 If There's Any Justice
7 Don't Give It Up
8 Time To Grow
9 Complicated Cupid
10 Maybe Just Maybe
11 Feels Right
12 All I Ever Do/Boo Part II
13 I Believe In A Thing Called Love