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Album Review: Avant - 'Face the Music'

Intelligent, Mature

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Album Review: Avant - 'Face the Music'
R&B artists come and go constantly and it's become increasingly rare for a singer to last in the industry for more than a handful of years before they disappear and are forgotten. But not only is Myron Avant still active in the music game after well over a decade, he's still putting out great music. Case in point: his seventh studio album, Face the Music, which was released in the U.S. Feb. 5, 2013. Even though it's been 13 years since the release of his debut album, Avant's formula of strong lyrics, passionate vocals and tasteful song production hasn't grown stale. Although he may not be on the radar of the popular music scene these days, since it focuses more on younger, newer artists, Face the Music proves Avant's still very much a relevant, creative artist who deserves the attention of fans of intelligent, mature R&B.

Passionate Tunes

Sometimes it's more than obvious when a singer is making music because they love it or because they just want what sometimes comes along with it, like fame and fortune. And on Face the Music, it's pretty clear that Avant truly loves being a singer. This album is a collection of strong, passionate tunes about love and life. And even though Avant's been around awhile, he's managed to keep things fresh via collaborations with such artists as songwriter-producer Kajun Johnson and vocalist J'Lynn, as well as the delicious Keke Wyatt, whom he first sang together with on the 2000 hit single "My First Love." The duet with Keke on this album, "You & I," is arguably the best of the bunch here, as the vocalists sing shamelessly romantic lyrics over an old school doo-wop beat. If the song was an attempt to recapture the magic and chemistry of their previous top 10 hit from Avant's debut album, the attempt is a highly successful one. Each vocalist puts their all into the collaboration, making you wonder how these two would sound together for a full album.
Among the other noteworthy tracks are "80 in a 30," a slick, sexy hip-hop/R&B built around the anticipation of getting home for some lovemaking. "You got me going 80 in a 30 mile zone, I'm trying to get to your body, your body, your body," he sings. "I might get a ticket, 'cause I ain't slowin' down tonight." The icing on the song's cake, however, is female singer J'Lynn, whose few lines at the end take the track to a higher level of steaminess.

Strong Narratives

One of the things Avant has been best known for on his songs is strong narratives; his lyrics usually tell a story, instead of just being empty words. And his knack for this is very evident on Face the Music, particularly songs like "Best Friend," where he agonizes over being in love with a woman he's had a close, but platonic relationship with: "You win or either you lose when you make your opposite your best friend," he sings. "It might not work, it's a chance I'm a take, whole lot to gain, it's a whole lot at stake." And on "When It's Over," Avant sings about the doubts and mistrust that can creep in a person's head regarding the motives of the person they're in a relationship with: "I don't mind spending, I don't mind sharing my life with who I love," he sings. "But is it just material things or the lifestyle that comes with me? 'Cause there's no guarantee that this will last forever/Will you still care when it's over, when the party's over?"
Overall, out of Avant's seven studio albums, this is probably in the top three quality-wise, due in no small part to the contributions of producer Kajun, whose contemporary, flair paired with the singer's passion, makes for a great combination. This is definitely one of the more solid R&B albums of 2013.

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