Cleveland born R&B singer Avant returns to the scene with his ninth studio album, Can We Fall in Love. Overseeing the bulk of the songwriting and working solely with producer Travis Sayles, Avant is here to show us that R&B isn’t dead.
Throughout his twenty-year career, Avant has built a substantial fan base singing about all the elements of love. The singer released the buzz single “Not Gone Lose,” which the singer released in the spring of 2019, which finds the singers embracing the seventies’ soul sound with its musical production.
“Edible” is the second single from the album, and this track transports back the eighties with its production. While the lyrics such as “You look so damn edible”/” Got me wanna use my mouth tonight”/” You wanna make love tonight/You look so damn edible,” may turn off some listeners, Avant’s vocals elevate the song to a sophisticated late-night slow jam.
“You Don’t Love Me No More” opens the album. Based on the song’s title, I was expecting something in the vein of the singer’s debut single, “Separated.” Instead, the singer gives audiences a mid-tempo number before switching the production to a smooth sax instrumental in closing out the last fifty-four seconds of the track.
The musical direction is an excellent transition into the album’s second track, “Can We Fall in Love.” With production recalling Avant’s 2013 hit, “You & I,” featuring KeKe Wyatt, I’m surprised that Mrs. Wyatt isn’t featured in the song. Nevertheless, it’s a great song and one of the album’s highlights. The lack of guest appearance from a rapper is also surprising on “All in My Head.” The song features an infectious groove, and I could easily see Phonte or Common riding the beat.
No Avant album is complete without the singer dabbling in sex. “Take It Slow features” Robert Glasper. The song will take listeners back to the days of BET Midnight Love and the quiet storm radio format. Like “Edible,” Avant’s vocals make the song lyrics work and is my second favorite track from the album.
One of Avant’s musical Achilles heel has been up-tempo material. “Irreplaceable” didn’t grab my attention. Thankfully the singer chooses not to have that many up-tempo numbers on his latest release, nor does he ever venture into EDM or auto tune. The rest of Can We Fall in Love is filled with ballads and slow jams.
“Nothing Without You” is a simple song that the singer doesn’t over sing and provides those who can’t express how they feel to a mate, the perfect song. While “Live a Lie” is tailor-made for an episode of HBO’s Insecure. Avant closes the album with the song “Worth It.” Here he sings about wanting to take a woman from a man that doesn’t deserve her.
With quality songwriting and production featuring live instrumentation, Can We Fall in Love is the singer’s most substantial release since his 2000 debut. The singer keeps the track list to ten songs and focuses on what made me a fan in the first place, the phases of love.
Final Grade A-
Best songs: “Can We Fall in Love,” “Take It Slow,” “Worth It.”
Can We Fall in Love is available on all streaming platforms or if you would prefer a physical copy head over to https://sonorecordinggroup.bigcartel.com/product/can-we-fall-in-love and receive a signed postcard with purchase.