It’s always obvious when actors release vanity music projects because deep down inside them lie childhood fantasies of musical stardom. There is something more “cool” about being a music star…something more “attractive” and alluring than being just “an actor” or “a comedian.”
To make a woman swoon anytime, anywhere is a gift. Women fawn over singers in ways different and distinct from actors irrespective of actors’ level of stardom. To be sure, there’s more money and “fame” to be found acting on TV and in movies…but musical talent is a woman’s aphrodisiac not very easy to explain.
But such explains why many actors fancy themselves…(or would like to fancy themselves) as singers. If we are to compare the transitions, it’s “easier” for true singers to become actors than vice versa. Remember, acting is professional pretending…professional faking. That doesn’t work in the world of music. True music fans know who’s fakin’ the funk, so to say.
Mo’Kelly won’t call any names…but we all know who Mo’Kelly means…
Conversely, we…true music fans, those who are not fooled by the attachment of “name” producers or taken with sampled loops, are appreciative when artists, be they actors or not, produce an authentic music body of work.
Wayne Brady’s new CD, A Long Time Coming is as authentic and earnest a music project as there has been in quite some time, having nothing to do with Brady’s acting profile.
Real instruments, real lyrics and real chord progressions…unfortunately a novelty in contemporary music. Even still, their incorporation doesn’t automatically equate to a quality end-product. Yet and still, Brady’s CD is a fine effort, for many reasons.
The CD is a thoughtful and truly enjoyable musical amalgam of traditional and contemporary music sensibilities. From classic R&B to R&B interpretations of classic rock songs, Wayne Brady shines. To say it “has something for everyone” would sell it short and in truth be wrong. Although it stylistically makes musical references to eras ranging from Motown to Neo Soul and every period in between…this CD isn’t meant “for everybody.”
This is for grown folks…
Mo’Kelly would argue that this CD showcases the eclectic musical influences that have shaped Brady since his childhood. From the ode to Blackstreet’s Beatles cover of Can’t Buy Me Love to a jazzy interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s All I Do, you see that Brady is as musically diverse as the perceptions of his television persona.
On the other hand, if there is any argument to be made for the CD faltering in any manner, is that covers of classic songs invariably lead to comparisons that will never be favorable. To sing the immortal song A Change is Gonna Come by the equally immortal Sam Cooke…you best have a damn near immortal rendition…and Brady didn’t. And although Brady’s Can’t Buy Me Love is silky smooth, it drives way too close to Blackstreet’s version, begging the obvious question, “then why cover it at all?”
Overall, the best part of this CD is the care and preoccupation of Brady to be sensual and not overtly sexual…hearkening back to the days when singers chose seduction instead of the seedy and salacious. No better example of that is found in the songs Sweetest Berry and All Naturally. Sistas…make no mistake, these songs are about and for you. Enjoy them accordingly.
Mo’Kelly doesn’t believe in numerical rankings or assigning stars…that’s silly. But Mo’Kelly will say this. Overall, A Long Time Coming is by no means perfect, but an outstanding effort. You probably won’t love every song and it probably wasn’t meant to have such a universal appeal. But for those who really know, love and appreciate pithy R&B music, it’s a perfect example what true musicianship is and a great addition to the music collection. (Press play on player below for music sampling of CD)
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published weekly at www.eurweb.com. It is meant to inform, infuse and incite meaningful discourse…as well as entertain. The Mo’Kelly Report is syndicated by Newstex and Blogburst. For more Mo’Kelly, http://www.MrMoKelly.com.
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Morris W. O’Kelly can be reached at Mo@MrMoKelly.com and he welcomes all commentary.