Earl Dwayne - NFlow (2011)

Earl Dwayne

Earl_Dwayne_Nflow.jpg

Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

Gospel purists may give silky voiced crooner Earl Dwayne heat for straddling the fence. The criticism could come because Dwayne new CD, NFlow, includes songs like "Trouble Soul" and "So Shall It Be," which are clearly spiritual in nature and songs like "Pointless" and "Push Pull," which are about Eros rather than agapic love. But a closer listen shows that a song like "Pointless" could almost pass for a religious song. In fact, I didn't realize that this very good song was a love ballad until the second verse. And then, only a couple of well place ‘babys' and ‘dears' gave it away. Besides equating a song about romantic love with carnality and pathology is kind of reductive. The kind of passion to which Dwayne gives a voice on "Pointless" is the single minded love that Bible readers find in the Song of Solomon. Clearly, God has no problem with a man declaring that he loves his woman.

Gospel purists may give silky voiced crooner Earl Dwayne heat for straddling the fence. The criticism could come because Dwayne new CD, NFlow, includes songs like "Trouble Soul" and "So Shall It Be," which are clearly spiritual in nature and songs like "Pointless" and "Push Pull," which are about Eros rather than agapic love. But a closer listen shows that a song like "Pointless" could almost pass for a religious song. In fact, I didn't realize that this very good song was a love ballad until the second verse. And then, only a couple of well place ‘babys' and ‘dears' gave it away. Besides equating a song about romantic love with carnality and pathology is kind of reductive. The kind of passion to which Dwayne gives a voice on "Pointless" is the single minded love that Bible readers find in the Song of Solomon. Clearly, God has no problem with a man declaring that he loves his woman.

At any rate, there is enough spiritual and inspirational material on NFlow for the purists to know where Dwayne stands. A song like the contemporary R&B tune "Nothing Can Separate Me" draws its inspiration from the New Testament Book of Romans. On the inspirational duet "What Good is a Song," Dwayne wants listeners to know that his aim is to do more than entertain: "What are the lyrics/if they can't soothe you/if they can't ease a troubled mind/what good is the beat if it can't move you/it would be a waste of time."

Of course, the music has to sound good, or the artist won't be able to inspire anybody. Nflow succeeds on both counts. The purists might not cut Dwayne any slack, but most listeners will conclude that this New Jersey native is making a very joyful noise.

Notable tracks: Above the Water, So Shall it Be, Push Pull, Blind to Love

Vocals: 3.5
Lyrics: 3.5
Music: 3.0
Production: 3.0
Soultracks Call: Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 
Featured Album - Jonas and Scratch Professer - 4ward to the Future
Featured Album - Marlon McClain - Funky Fridays, Vol. 1
Video of The Month - KEA - "Being With You"

Leave a comment!