Anthony David - Love Out Loud (2012)

Anthony David
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There are certain things that you can count on when listening to an Anthony David project. There is that rich, soulful baritone voice and his well-crafted lyrics and the signature duets with a who's who cast of female vocalists such as India.Arie, Algebra and Julie Dexter. It's also a sure bet to expect the unexpected - or at least the non-formulaic - whenever the next Anthony David project drops.

Three Chords and the Truth, the 2004 record that introduced the Savannah-born and Atlanta-based singer songwriter to the world, had an acoustic soul sound and a simple yet eloquent lyricism that found many people comparing David to Bill Withers. Red Clay Chronicles saw David incorporate more contemporary R&B production techniques.

There are certain things that you can count on when listening to an Anthony David project. There is that rich, soulful baritone voice and his well-crafted lyrics and the signature duets with a who's who cast of female vocalists such as India.Arie, Algebra and Julie Dexter. It's also a sure bet to expect the unexpected - or at least the non-formulaic - whenever the next Anthony David project drops.

Three Chords and the Truth, the 2004 record that introduced the Savannah-born and Atlanta-based singer songwriter to the world, had an acoustic soul sound and a simple yet eloquent lyricism that found many people comparing David to Bill Withers. Red Clay Chronicles saw David incorporate more contemporary R&B production techniques.

The 2011 album As Above So Below included some of the most insightful social commentary on topics ranging from street level violence to religious hustlers. It was a logical extension of some of the songs addressing political issues on his previous records - Three Chords and the Truth included the song "Crooked Cop" and David railed against gentrification on the title track of Red Clay Chronicles.

Love Out Loud, David's latest album, finds him looking inward as he addresses affairs of the heart. The consistency can be found in the quality of David's vocals and lyrics that lift his song above the clichés that lesser artists attempt to pass off as wit. And musically, David never allows his groove to slide into a rut, as the 11 tracks on Love Out Loud encompass genres ranging from rock to the 1980s era sound of Minneapolis and reggae.

The track "Can't Look Down" serves as an example of David's strengths as a lyricist. The words express the dichotomy between desire and the fear of losing control that exists in the early stages of a relationship. "I'm afraid if look into your eyes girl/I'm gonna like what I see/I'm afraid if I hold you in my arms girl/It's where I'll want you to be/I'm afraid if I let you in my heart girl/You're gonna change the beat/I'm afraid if I let you in my life girl/You're gonna make it complete."

David moves from love idealist to cynic on the next track, the funky "So Jaded." This cut tells the story of how a series of heartbreaks starting back in the first grade left transformed David's character into a man who plays it close to the vest when it comes to love. Perhaps he's worked to hard at turning his emotions off because now he believes that all the fish in a sea are man-eating sharks.

David has always had a soft spot for 1980s era pop. Red Clay Chronicles included a cover of Level 42's "Something About You," while As Above So Below included a remake of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." David tries his hand at 1980s style Minneapolis funk on "Control Freak." Lyrically, the tune tells the story of opposites who attract. The male is stable while the woman is much less so. “I like it private/She likes a crowd/I like it quiet/But she’s so loud.” Where “So Jaded” finds David being guided by caution, he gives himself totally to his free spirit lover, ignoring the warnings of friends. “I don’t care about what my friends may say/I feel better when she gets her way/She’s a control freak.”

David is that rare indie soul artist who manages to score some play on terrestrial radio. He’s also scored some critical acclaim in the form of Grammy nominations. Still, one can’t shake the feeling that the public is sleeping on David considering that is both productive and high quality.

If past is prologue, the mainstream will pick up one of the album’s two duets. I suspect that radio will be more likely to give airplay to “Official” rather than the reggae track “Living It Up” because the former pairs David with Algebra, a combo that worked so well on the 2011 hit “Forever More.” Unfortunately, the mainstream may not look any further, and that would be a shame for those who don’t have the time or won’t take the initiative to uncover hidden in plain sight talents such as Anthony David. But for those who take the time as we approach the holiday season, Love Out Loud will be a gift that keeps on giving. Highly Recommended

By Howard Dukes

Click Here to listen to Love Out Loud

 
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