Second Listen Sunday : Peabo Bryson, Straight From The Heart

Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

R&B balladeer Peabo Bryson was eight years into his career when his tenth album, Straight from the Heart, stores on May 15th, 1984. Bryson had already carved a successful niche as a solo artist and a duet partner for R&B songstresses. Bryson had previously recorded successful duet albums with Natalie Cole and Roberta Flack.

For this album, Bryson switched labels to Elektra. Bryson took a leading role in the album’s production, contributing his songwriting and keyboard-playing expertise. He wrote five of the eight songs on the album, showcasing his creative abilities and dedication to the project.

Naturally, for the first single, Bryson released a ballad with “If Ever You’re in My Arms Again.” Bryson took a back seat from the writing, deciding to croon the lyrics of Tom Snow, Cynthia Weil, and Micheal Masser (who also produced the song). Arguably one of Bryson’s signature songs, Bryon croons lyrics about the better man he will become if he gets his lady back.

“Slow Dancin” was the album’s second single, allowing Bryson to show off his writing skills. While I didn’t get my first slow dance until about the third grade, I’ve always understood the significance of a slow dance. Slow dancing deepens connections and amplifies emotions between two individuals, demonstrating pure affection and romance. Bryson easily creates this mood.

Throughout Straight from the Heart, Bryson effortlessly switches between romantic ballads and groovy R&B tracks, proving his versatility as an artist. Tracks like “I Get Nervous” showcase his ability to create catchy, upbeat songs that make you want to get up and move. One of the most remarkable tracks on the album is “There’s No Getting Over You.” The soulful performance by Bryson and the haunting instrumentation perfectly convey the anguish of a lost love.

Bryson’s vocal range is evident in nearly every song on the album. He effortlessly hits high notes and brings depth and emotion to every song he sings. His ability to convey vulnerability and strength in his vocals sets him apart from other artists in the genre.

Straight from the Heart is a solid album highlighting Peabo Bryson’s incredible talent as a singer and songwriter. With its mix of soulful ballads and groovy R&B tracks, it is an album that fans of various musical styles can enjoy. 

Final Grade: B+

Straight from the Heart is available on all streaming platforms.

 

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Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Second Listen Sunday : Peabo Bryson, Straight From The Heart

R&B balladeer Peabo Bryson was eight years into his career when his tenth album, Straight from the Heart, stores on May 15th, 1984. Bryson had already carved a successful niche as a solo artist and a duet partner for R&B songstresses. Bryson had previously recorded successful duet albums with Natalie Cole and Roberta Flack.

For this album, Bryson switched labels to Elektra. Bryson took a leading role in the album’s production, contributing his songwriting and keyboard-playing expertise. He wrote five of the eight songs on the album, showcasing his creative abilities and dedication to the project.

Naturally, for the first single, Bryson released a ballad with “If Ever You’re in My Arms Again.” Bryson took a back seat from the writing, deciding to croon the lyrics of Tom Snow, Cynthia Weil, and Micheal Masser (who also produced the song). Arguably one of Bryson’s signature songs, Bryon croons lyrics about the better man he will become if he gets his lady back.

“Slow Dancin” was the album’s second single, allowing Bryson to show off his writing skills. While I didn’t get my first slow dance until about the third grade, I’ve always understood the significance of a slow dance. Slow dancing deepens connections and amplifies emotions between two individuals, demonstrating pure affection and romance. Bryson easily creates this mood.

Throughout Straight from the Heart, Bryson effortlessly switches between romantic ballads and groovy R&B tracks, proving his versatility as an artist. Tracks like “I Get Nervous” showcase his ability to create catchy, upbeat songs that make you want to get up and move. One of the most remarkable tracks on the album is “There’s No Getting Over You.” The soulful performance by Bryson and the haunting instrumentation perfectly convey the anguish of a lost love.

Bryson’s vocal range is evident in nearly every song on the album. He effortlessly hits high notes and brings depth and emotion to every song he sings. His ability to convey vulnerability and strength in his vocals sets him apart from other artists in the genre.

Straight from the Heart is a solid album highlighting Peabo Bryson’s incredible talent as a singer and songwriter. With its mix of soulful ballads and groovy R&B tracks, it is an album that fans of various musical styles can enjoy. 

Final Grade: B+

Straight from the Heart is available on all streaming platforms.

 

Movie Clappers

More reviews to explorer

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For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to visit the Buckeye State and pay homage to The Rude Boys. The Cleveland-based quartet consisted of Larry Marcus, Melvin Sephus, Edward Lee “Buddy” Banks, and Joe Little III. Initially breaking onto the scene in 1990 with the hits “Written All Over Your Face” and “Are You Lonely For Me” from their debut, they wasted no time returning to the studio.

Slow Jam Saturday : Lloyd, Valentine

Valentine’s Day 2024 may have come and gone, but I still plan to use highlight songs with the V-word for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. The artist I chose is a southern gentleman by the name of Lloyd. Initially breaking onto the scene as a member of the preteen-boy band N-Toon, Lloyd’s solo career kicked off in 2004 with the hit “Southside.”

Second Listen Sunday : Eric Roberson, The Vault 1.5

One of the most talented men in indie music, Eric Roberson, kicked off his 30th-anniversary tour last night in Pittsburgh, so for this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to revisit Mr. Roberson’s third album, The Vault 1.5, which hit record stores in 2003. As Erro fans know, Roberson initially hit the scene with the lovely ballad “The Moon” while studying at Howard University. Roberson’s first record deal didn’t go as planned, but not one to just lay down, Roberson continued to build a name for himself by writing for the likes of 112 and Will Smith. Additionally, Roberson collaborated with Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Cam’ron.

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