Charlie Wilson, Without You
Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Slow Jam Saturday : Charlie Wilson, Without You

Charlie Wilson was already an established star in his own right when “Without You,” the first single from his second solo album, Bridging the Gap, was released in the summer of 2000. At the turn of the 21st Century, Wilson was still touring with his group The Gap Band and singing hooks on numerous songs from rappers. Hip Hop heads can undoubtedly recall Wilson working with Snoop Dogg on four tracks from the rapper’s sophomore album, The Doggfather. Wilson could have easily made a living just singing hooks for the second part of his career. However, the allure of a solo career was calling.

Wilson had previously released his debut 1992’s You Turn My Life Around, which failed to offer any charting singles. Wilson decided it was time for a change and took a different approach for the lead single for his second solo project. Laney Stewart served as the producer of the beautiful ballad, which is a song about lost love. Everyone can relate to the passion that Wilson’s tenor emotes as he croons :

“It feels like a lifetime, a thousand days have passed by

Since I held you close to me

If I could see that smile from my friend

I know that I could live again

I need you here with me

Heaven knows what to say

Even though for right now you’re so far away

I hope and I pray

Somewhere in your heart I’ll always stay

Girl, lately my sun doesn’t shine without you

Never noticed what it feels like to be without you

Feels like I took my last step and my last breath in

my life ending

Had to say just what I was feeling, girl

Cause my sun doesn’t shine, sun doesn’t shine without you”.

When the song was released, I lived down south, so I remember just how much airplay the song was receiving. While Bridging the Gap wouldn’t entirely give Wilson the solo breakthrough he deserved (that would happen five years later), “Without You” is one of his signature songs and worth revisiting.

Final Grade: B+

“Without You” from Bridging the Gap is available on all streaming platforms.

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