Eric Stinnett - Chocolate Soul (2008)

Eric Stinnett
ericstinnett.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase
Every now and then, I make CDs of all this good music I've been hearing over the last couple of years and gift them to a few good friends. Some of the CDs are actually mixes because I'm a big fan of theme-based mix CDs. So when this economy sent the cost of living way up and the quality of life in the tank, I found myself always thinking about money. I up and decided to scan my play list and make CD consisting of songs that talk about money (or the lack of money). I titled that CD "Broke Busted and Can't Be Trusted." So far, I've got about 25 songs, and after hearing Chocolate Soul, the very good EP by Eric Stinnett, I'll be adding a 26th. The acoustic guitar jam "Jack of All Trades" tells the universal story of a man who had to delay his dreams to take a few of those "odd" jobs in order to make ends meet. The only instruments listeners hear on this poignant and sparse song are that acoustic guitar and Stinnett's voice.
Every now and then, I make CDs of all this good music I've been hearing over the last couple of years and gift them to a few good friends. Some of the CDs are actually mixes because I'm a big fan of theme-based mix CDs. So when this economy sent the cost of living way up and the quality of life in the tank, I found myself always thinking about money. I up and decided to scan my play list and make CD consisting of songs that talk about money (or the lack of money). I titled that CD "Broke Busted and Can't Be Trusted." So far, I've got about 25 songs, and after hearing Chocolate Soul, the very good EP by Eric Stinnett, I'll be adding a 26th. The acoustic guitar jam "Jack of All Trades" tells the universal story of a man who had to delay his dreams to take a few of those "odd" jobs in order to make ends meet. The only instruments listeners hear on this poignant and sparse song are that acoustic guitar and Stinnett's voice. That's all the listener needs to enjoy this story of a man doing what he has to do in order to get to the point where he can do what he wants to do.

Counting "Jack of All Trades," Chocolate Soul includes six tracks (five plus a bonus track). The total running time is 26 minutes and 38 seconds, but this is definitely a case of less being more. True, Chocolate Soul sports a third as many tracks as the average album. However, that only means that there is no filler. And even though Stinnett specializes in ballads and mid-tempo relationship songs, nothing on Chocolate Soul is redundant from a topical, musical or tempo standpoint.

The first song, "My Life's Breath," is a classic soul throwback and digs deeply into the roots of soul and gospel. "Back In Town" is nu soul jam that proves that contemporary singers can tell a good story. Stinnett takes a conversational tone to tell the story of learning that an old flame is back in town and his efforts to reconnect.

The jazzy and funny "Whiplash," in which Stinnett employs a harmon-muted trumpet on the song's intro, takes the listener on a visit to the doctors office where the singer pleads with his physician to do something about a case of whiplash caused by craning his neck to get a second look at all of the beautiful ladies.

The funk/hip hop cut "Constantly" is a head-nodder in which Stinnett sings about how a fine lady who is close but oh so far away just stays on his mind. All of these tunes will remain in the listener's head long after turning the CD player off. You might find yourself putting Chocolate Soul on repeat. And if you get some time, and you decide to make a theme-based mixed CD about watching the ladies or reconnecting with an old flame, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if a few Stinnett songs make the play list. Highly Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 
Album of the Month - Wade C. Long - "Nostalgia"
Featured Album - Chris Jasper - For The Love of You

Leave a comment!