|1||The Brian McKnight Show (Intro)||lyrics||N/A||N/A|
|2||Just a Little Bit||lyrics||N/A||N/A|
|3||I Betcha Never||lyrics||N/A||N/A|
|4||What I've Been Waiting For||lyrics||N/A||N/A|
|5||When You're Lovin Me||lyrics||N/A||N/A|
|6||Never Say Goodbye||lyrics||N/A||N/A|
|8||Next 2 U||lyrics||N/A||N/A|
|9||I Miss You||lyrics||N/A||N/A|
|10||Always Be My Baby||lyrics||N/A||N/A|
|11||Baby It's You||lyrics||N/A||N/A|
Review courtesy of You Know I Got Soul
"Good morning, and welcome to The Brian McKnight Morning Show!" If you live in the Los Angeles area and listen to KTWV "The Wave," you've undoubtedly heard this phrase more than a few times on his daily radio show. Since the release of his last album "Ten" in 2006, McKnight has also starred in the Broadway show "Chicago," appeared in the Celebrity Apprentice, and is currently making the preparations to star in a late night talk show that will begin shortly. With all of these activities lined up, it's a wonder he even had time to focus on an album. Fortunately, he found the time to record his 11th solo album "Evolution of a Man."
In essence, Brian McKnight has seen much evolution over his career since he broke on the scene in 1992. The soul singer has made some very unlikely collaborations over the years with everyone from Mase to Nelly, and Nate Dogg to Justin Timberlake. His previous album even experimented with elements typical of country music. However, it seems as no matter what he's tried, he found a way to make it work while keeping his credibility in tact as a premier rhythm and blues singer. What we have here is a culmination of this evolution from the singer who made a name for himself making smooth soulful music.
After listening to the album, it's clear that this is yet another chapter in the evolution of Brian McKnight musically. Not only is the album more up-tempo as a whole, but he experiments with sounds that he has never tried before. This is displayed beautifully on the first single "What I've Been Waiting For." Here he strays from the vintage quiet storm instrument driven sound and replaces it with mid tempo electronic based sound. The song could be said for "I Miss You," another gem where instruments are put aside in favor of this electronic based sound.
Additionally, he successfully experiments with a reggae sound on the song "While," which is something brand new from McKnight. The song invokes memories of Stevie Wonder's classic "Master Blaster (Jammin')," containing the same tropical feel. On "Next2U," he uses the type of up-tempo beat that you'd expect on a techno song and it ends up sounding a bit uncomfortable. At this point, he's really pushing the limits musically to touch on sounds outside of the r&b genre that he has never tested before.
However, the album is not devoid of that vintage Brian McKnight we have become accustomed to. On slow jams like "Not Alone" and "Another You," you can just feel the soul and passion in his voice as we have so many times before. His signature piano driven mid tempo jams are also present in songs like "Just a Little Bit" and "When Your Lovin Me." The inclusion of songs like these are enough to satisfy long time McKnight fans as well r&b purists. Unfortunately for those fans though, it seems the hinted duets with Stevie Wonder and Jill Scott never came to fruition.
Overall, my main complaint with the album is it strays in a bunch of different directions sound and tempo wise and lacks a flow. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed listening and this is still very good r&b music. I applaud the man for trying something different and going for growth in his music. After all, he has pretty much accomplished everything he could in the genre of quiet storm and he's already considered a great in that respect. Brian McKnight was able to describe the album very accurately when titling it, as we are truly seeing an evolution in his music.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5