Album Review: Brandon Williams celebrates romance on "The Lover's Suite"

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    Brandon Williams - The Lover's Suite

    Brandon Williams - The Lover's Suite

    The Lover’s Suite, the latest project by Brandon Williams, is a score and soundtrack that gives musical voice to the idealized way that we desire for those intimate moments between a man and woman totranspire. The Lover’s Suite checks in at an EP-sized five songs, but a full-length album running time of 44 minutes. 

    That’s because of the way in which Williams organized this project. Williams arranged the songs “Everything & More, (feat. Brian McKnight Jr.),” “Enterlude,” “Gentile Breeze” and “This Is For You”as individual tracks. Those individual tunes follow the title track, which is a 29 minute and 12 second song cycle where individual songs blend into each other. Taken together, the four songs serve as the musical score for a couple that makes love for the first time in their relationship. As each song blends into the other, the suite has the sound of night of any man or woman’s dreams. 

    Williams’  method for creating art is to surround himself with a cast of artists who share is virtuosic talent and then give them space to shine, He sticks to that script on The Lover’s Suite, a record that features the vocals of Brian McKnight Jr, whose buttery tenor that wafts like smoke from a candle into falsetto range will remind some of his father. He shines on “Everything & More.” 

    That song captures the anticipation of a couple preparing for a night of passion, as well as how they shut themselves off from the world as they explore every inch of the space they occupy and each other. Williams recruited some top-flight jazz players for this project, such as Robert Glasper, Jr., an artist whoknows how to operate in the intersection between jazz and R&B. Other guests include Taylor Eigsti and Matt Cusson.  

    The atmospheric “Enterlude,” a nearly two-minute instrumental piece, is a bridge between the sensuality of “Everything & More” and “Gentle Breeze,” a track that paints a beautiful picture of a couple enjoying a day together.  

    Cusson wrote “Gentle Breeze,” which is the standout track on a very strong album. The song tells the story of a couple finding time alone on a beach getaway that prompts them to anticipate spending time in a more intimate spot. The track is founded by a smooth R&B baseline that serves as the springboard for deft piano work, dreamy horns and sweet vocals 

    The Lover’s Suite proves that music can paint a picture of romance, eroticism and passion that is imaginative while also leaving something to the imagination. Williams and company do this from beginning to end and create a work ideally suited for walks on the beach and the candlelit dinners that follow. Recommended. 

    By Howard Dukes