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Following on from my review of Brian McKnight's fifth album Superhero I have decided to review another one of his albums, This time it's his sixth album U-Turn. I have been looking to do a review of this album for sometime after requesting it a couple of months ago but having plenty of other reviews to do first. But I thought I would mark by 300th review by reviewing this album.
As I mentioned before U Turn is the sixth album release from Brian McKnight who has released eight albums so far. U-Turn was released in 2003 and features colllaborations from Nelly on the opening track "All night long", Carl Thomas, Joe, Tank & Tyrese on the track Good Enough, Fabolous & Six John on the title track and finally Gospel legend Kirk Franklin on the closing One Of The Ones Who Did.
1.) All Night Long - Brian McKnight, Nelly
As you would expect from a song featuring Nelly this has a catchy beat to it and starts the album off well. The guitar adds a nice touch from the start and the blend of McKnight's smooth vocal delivery and Nelly's rapid rapping works suprisingly well.
2.) Back Seat (Gettin' Down)
This track opens with a punchy beat which is joined by McKnight's keyboard tones and a nice atmospheric background. His vocals sound brilliant even as the most laid back and gentle tones come through. A smooth track with a punchy beat.
3.) Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda
This is about looking back on what you could and should have done in the past when a relationship goes wrong. This is a very common subject for a song but this works extremely well. The smooth backing vocals provide an intimacy that flows well with the overall feel of the track.
4.) Try Our Love Again
This starts off well with a firm beat and some catchy percussive claps. A nice track that is about the same kind of things as the previous track. This is a track which doesnt quite have the spark it should but a very decent track nonetheless.
5.) Where Do We Go from Here
The musical backing of this track is very much like the type you would find with a Gospel choir. This doesnt have a choir but it does have a fantastic feel, This track is about when there is no more love in a relationship. This is where he showcases the vocal talent he has.
6.) Been So Long
This is a catchy mid tempo track which has McKnight's mellow vocals blending well with a shuffling beat, This is one of the best tracks he has done in this way. A very catchy track which works really well.
7.) Good Enough - Brian McKnight, Joe, Tank, Carl Thomas, Tyrese
This starts off with a dramatic classical composition which then changes when the thump of the beat comes in. Joe opens the vocals then Carl Thomas sings his part then Brian McKnight comes in, The vocal harmonies are devine, then Tyrese sings his verse and this is a fantastic collaboration with some of the other R&B stars around.
8.) Someday, Someway, Somehow
This is the slowest of the tracks so far on the album and is a fantastic change of pace. A really beautiful orchestral backing works wonders along with the smooth emotive vocals and gentle keyboard tones. One of the best ballads on the album.
9.) For the Rest of My Life
This opens as an acapella track, the backing vocals blend with Brian McKnight's smooth voice to create a fantastic soundstage. One of the best uses of backing vocals on any of his albums. A fantastic acapella track. His vocals towards the end of this track are absolutely sensational.
10.) If It Was Cool
This opens with some gentle keyboard tones and then as the drums come in you get the live feel of this song. The way his falsetto soars with the backing vocalists is a real treat. One of the best tracks on the album, I love the drum beat to this track.
11.) U Turn - Fabolous, Brian McKnight,
This is a fast paced catchy hip hop track which includes a great contribution from Fabolous. One of the best hip hop style tracks Brian McKnight is ever likely to record. A superbly catchy track which blends well with his sweet vocals.
12.) So Sorry
This piano led ballad is a really beautiful track which Brian McKnight apologizes for the way he acted to the woman who he was in a relationship with. A really heartfelt track which showcases the emotion and sincerity in his voice. Magical track.
13.) One of the One's Who Did - Kirk Franklin, Brian McKnight
Anyone who is a fan of Brian McKnight will know that Gospel is a big influence in his music and this track is a fantastic indication of that. A duet with the great Kirk Franklin which is about their faith. This track ends the album on a superb note with both singers sounding wonderful.
This is one of the best albums Brian McKnight has ever released, the standout tracks have got to be the amazing For the rest of my life, Good enough, So Sorry and the final track One of the ones who did. If you are a fan of Brian McKnight and don't have this album then search on amazon now and buy yourself a copy. He is one of the greatest R&B singers around and has many more years to come.
Although Brian McKnight is a very talented RnB singer, songwriter, producer, and a player of nine instruments (wow.... Yes nine!!) not everybody is aware of his work. So... let me break it down a little.
Born in New York Mr McKnight's style of singing is very smooth and individual. From his music you can hear that his inspiration is taken from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nat King Cole and he can even hit the high notes like the star Prince.
This album 'U Turn' is the 8th Album from this Grammy nominated singer, released on March 24th 2003 on the Motown record label, this album does not disappoint when it comes to classic, modern RnB style.
This is what I think of the tracks on the album.....
*All night long*
I love this track, it starts off with a soft hip hop rap by the Rapper Nelly and he also adds a great little solo in the middle of the song and then Brian McKnight slides in like melted chocolate with his silky voice. Yes it is that good! This has a great beat to it that make you bounce your head. This track is about having a night out... going home and *cough cough* no more needs to be said.
*Backseat (Gettin' Down)*
A very smooth song, but nothing to slow and soulful. This track is not my favourite and doesn't really add anything to the album. Probably one you will end up skipping after a while. But still not a complaint!
*Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda*
Yes! Yes! Yes! What a star of a track. If you ever regret doing, or not doing something, then sit and listen to this. It really will make you cry. A brilliant heart felt song. A tinkle of the piano in the background and a perfect ballad with a perfect voice. No surprise this was the lead single from this album. 5 stars!!!
*Try Our Love Again*
Another slow jam, and another track not to listen to if you miss someone (I am sure you are getting the idea with this by now, sounds like Mr McKnight is missing someone). This does make your head nod and has a very deep tone to it which is nice just to relax too. Not bad.
*Where Do We Go From Here*
Brilliant ballad material. Stunning lyrics and a brilliant performance vocally. So much feeling comes from this song its hard not to just tune in and forget about what's going in around you. I am listening to it now and had to just stop writing for a minute to absorb the soul. Starts the track with a big drum intro and the song just flows into the music, the tempo varies throughout the song depending on the emotion being given from his voice.. Perfect song.
*Been So Long*
This is almost like an audio book. The song is basically a story about losing contact with someone and bumping into them again. This has a very old town beat. Almost from the early days of Brian's career. Another one you might skip if you prefer a slightly funkier RnB style.
*Good enough (feat. Carl Thomas, Joe, Tank & Tyrese)*
The other artists work very well on this track, and give it a bit of a darker feel. Slightly more of what people may call a 'sexy thug' appeal. A good tune to just relax too. Good mixed harmonies from them all.
*Someday, Someway, Somehow*
It is not just the title that is like his other track on the album shoulda, woulda, coulda but also the fantastic quality is just as good. A great RnB ballad. A smooth jam that tinkles those piano keys again and brings the bass in just enough so you know it is definitely on the RnB level.
*For The Rest of My Life*
This song has very little backing music, other then a light shuffle in the background and a great singing harmony with compliments the main vocals. A little boring but still quality.
*If It Was Cool*
Here the tempo picks itself up again, the track starts slow then comes in a bit of guitar. here Brian McKnight shows how strong his pitch is when he hits them high notes. This is in the same style of the artist Prince, very cool and jazzy, not to everyone's taste. Not my favourite.
*U-Turn (feat. Fabolous & Six John)*
This is the main track from the song, so good that the album was named after it! Very hip-hop and very modern. Although I feel that the strong hip hop style does not really suit the tone of the album at least he has a song on the album that makes you want to get up and shake it.
Back to the best, doing Ballads. This is another strong vocal, which apparently was dedicated to his wife of who he is not divorced from. A tear jerker with brilliant lyrics. Smooth beats with an even smoother vocal. Brilliant. Turn up the speakers on this one.
*One Of the Ones Who Did (feat. Kirk Franklin)*
A gospel track which Brian McKnight always introduces somewhere on his albums.
It is a very moving tribute to all the service men and women that are over in is a very powerful track. It really makes you listen. The vocals are very smooth and the music is soft but enough to keep you tuned in.
This is a very mainstream RnB album. It fits everything into one, a bit of hip-hop, a bit of soul and a bit of jazz. It is a great album, and the lyrics to the songs are just as fabulous as the sound of the music. If this album is an outlet of emotions regarding his divorce (which he says it IS NOT) then it is very very moving, but either way it is a talented piece of material which will remain a timeless piece in my music collection. I bought this for £9.99 from HMV, but the deals you can get now online and in sales are brilliant. Please do not over look this album. It really is a piece of art.
Thankyou for reading :-)
(Also published on ciao under myself izzoh)
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Good Enough
2 Been So Long
3 Try Our Love Again
4 Someday Someway Somehow
5 Backseat (Gettin' Down)
6 Where Do We Go From Here
7 Sorry Song
8 U Turn
9 If It Was Cool
10 Shoulda Woulda Coulda