If the amount of talent a singer has automatically equated to their level of success in the music industry, then R&B singer-songwriter Anthony David
would solidly be among the more celebrated artists in all of music. Unfortunately, his talent is still relatively underappreciated, but if he's in any way disappointed by a lack of mainstream recognition, he isn't letting it show. His latest release, Love Out Loud
, consists of the same tender, passionate and optimistic tone we've come to expect from Mr. David since his 2004 debut album, 3 Chords & the Truth
. Love Out Loud
, which will be released in the U.S. Nov. 13, 2012, is a strong collection of intelligent, bone-deep R&B/Soul songs that have the ability to envelop the listener like a warm blanket.
The most recognizable trait of any Anthony David
song is his semi-raspy, honey-rich vocals, and on Love Out Loud
, that voice is as impactful as ever. On such songs as "Can't Look Down,"
the album's title track and "So Jaded,"
AD's passionate vocal delivery strongly enhances the various narratives on each song. For example, on "Can't Look Down," he sings about being a man who's afraid to fully invest emotionally in a relationship. But his vocal inflections more than just tell as story, they make you feel
the turbulent nature of the emotions he's going through on the song. And on "Love Out Loud," he gleefully and passionately delves into the joys and pains of being in love: "It can make you weak and it can make you helpless, but it can make you strong and it can make you selfless, It can drive you crazy and it can make you reckless, but it's the only way you'll know you're alive," he sings.
But perhaps the true nature of his character comes through the most on "So Jaded," an uptempo tune where AD sings about not wanting to fall in love again after recently having his heart broken by someone else: "You think you can save me go ahead and try, you might be wasting your time," he sings. But through the song's tone, it's easy to guess that the optimist in him is willing to give love another shot.
One area where Love Out Loud
differs from Anthony David's previous albums is there's a little wider sonic diversity here. "Livin' It Up," featuring actress-singer Demetria McKinney and reggae artist Gramps Morgan is a breezy slice of Caribbean music; opening song "Aspiracy Theory" is a sunny, almost pop-ish tune that features audio from NASA of the landing of the robotic Mars rover Curiosity; and "A Way for Me," has a '70s lite-rock feel, complete with electric guitar and heavy percussion. In addition to the musical expansion, AD also expands his topical repertoire here, including a couple of kinky songs about bedroom lovin.' On "Sweet Pain,"
he seductively sings about taking things "just as far as you'll let 'em," and on "Control Freak," he sings about being willfully dominated under and out of the covers by the woman in his life. But as you might expect if you're already familiar with his work, AD has enough sense to not go too far in his lyrics, and keeps things classy rather than trashy.
Overall, this is a strong, well-rounded R&B/Soul album by one of the genre's more talented personalities. His positive, sunny outlook toward life and love isn't unique to R&B, but his voice and lyrics certainly are. And it's those two things that make this one of the better, more well-rounded urban music releases of the year.