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Derrick Dunn

Second Listen Sunday: Carl Thomas, Conquer

This week’s featured album for Second Listen Sunday is Carl Thomas’s “Conquer.” Thomas, known for his work as a hook singer at Bad Boy Records, is set to join R&B icons Tank and Keri Hilson on ‘The R&B Money Tour. Considering this upcoming event, it’s fitting to delve into the often overlooked ‘Conquer. After a hiatus following his third album, ‘So Much Better’ in 2007, Carl Thomas returned to the scene with ‘Conquer’ in 2011.

The album’s debut single, “Don’t Kiss Me,” eloquently combines modern influences with Thomas’s characteristic sound while consciously eschewing auto tune. It is an emotional ballad that centers on authenticity and commitment within romantic relationships. The lyrics poignantly call for a deeper connection that transcends physical interactions, highlighting the significance of true love and enduring companionship.

While I don’t recall a second single, despite collaboration with esteemed producers, there are moments where Thomas seems to tread close to the style influenced by a currently controversial R&B singer from Chicago. Although competently executed, the vocal performance on the title track, a collaborative effort from André Harris and James Fauntleroy, might resonate more if performed by artists like Trey Songz or Chris Brown due to its lyrical composition.

Nonetheless, songs such as “Round 2” and “It Ain’t Fair,” with their rich metaphors and nods to ’90s styles, respectively, exhibit more substantial alignment with Thomas’s artistry. “Long Distance Love Affair” emerges as particularly promising within this repertoire.

“Conquer “still stands as Carl Thomas’s most recent album release. There is hope that an upcoming tour will catalyze further recognition and traction for his career. It would be intriguing to see future projects shaped under the guidance of distinguished figures such as Babyface and Jam & Lewis alongside fresher talents like Lucky Daye and Kenyon Dixon contributing to grown folks R&B.

Final Grade: B

“Conquer” is available on all streaming platforms.

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Second Listen Sunday: Carl Thomas, Conquer