Virgin Records


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  This neo-soul contender swings with the confidence of Maxwell or D’Angelo while still maintaining his own sound. Mostly rejecting rap in favor of a loose, slippery speak-sing, Dwele’s voice slides across jazzy tracks that are drenched in Fender Rhodes. “Sho Ya Right” is a hit-bound Earth, Wind & Fire-lite style funk jam that’ll get heads bobbing. “Money Don’t Mean A Thing” borrows from TLC’s “No Scrubs” and visits the “bling-bling” territory only to dismiss it entirely. It’s a smooth move that works beautifully. “Kick Out Of You” reeks of a smoky jazz café and uses a Princely groove with obviously Sinatra inspired lyrics. Dwele has a lot to offer. The material could be much stronger, but talent as clear as this always grows and matures nicely. It’s just a matter of time before Dwele finds his own unique groove. (150 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011)

 Chris McKay / concertshots.com