Eugene Wilde - Compositions (Unreleased 2009 disc)

Eugene Wilde
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"Wonderful," a ballad on Compositions, the new CD by Eugene Wilde, the crooner best known for the 1985 hit "Gotta Get You Home Tonight," serves as a cautionary tale on the risks of inserting pop culture and current events references into songs.

"Wonderful," a ballad on Compositions, the new CD by Eugene Wilde, the crooner best known for the 1985 hit "Gotta Get You Home Tonight," serves as a cautionary tale on the risks of inserting pop culture and current events references into songs.

"Wonderful," is a serviceable ballad in which Wilde waxes about his woman's grace, intelligence and beauty. Early on, Wilde sings, "You should have your talk show like Oprah/Or be in the White House like Condolezza."  Now it's true that Condi Rice was in the White House a lot during the eight years that she served as George W. Bush's national security advisor and secretary of state - so much so that it might have seemed like she lived there. She did not. Michelle Obama does live in the White House as first lady - meaning she's married to the president.  Wilde's Rip Van Winkle moment might rub the Obama supporters who likely comprise the bulk of Wilde's target audience the wrong way. If they listen to Compositions all the way through, they'll forgive Wilde's oversight. 

As "Gotta Get You Home Tonight" proved, Wilde can deliver a Teddy-style emotion packed come-on to the ladies. But Wilde's repertoire has broadened over the years, and on Compositions includes up-tempo, mid-tempo and jazzy and bluesy songs in addition to those bedroom jams.  In fact, some of the more memorable songs on Compositions are those up-tempo joints. Wilde lets his woman know how good she makes him feel on the funky head nodder, "Suga." He merges R&B vocals and hip-hop beats on the dance tune "Let's Talk," and dabbles in the blues on "Big Shot," a song that tells the story of a guy preparing himself mentally and physically for a night on the town.  The song "Ridiculous" is also ridiculously funky.

However, two of the more memorable tunes are the slow songs "I'll Go With You" and "See Ya." Both are the kind of change of pace tunes that can be unappreciated if they become background music at a party or while doing some work around the house. But virtues of both of these jazzy and folksy numbers will become apparent when you slow down - namely the way that Wilde caresses the vocals, the instrumentation and the lyrics.

I've had a little fun and Wilde's expense, and he might as well get used to it. Condigate is a current events faux pas that's going to follow him - at least until music fans hear how good many of the other tracks are. Then it will be all love, dude. All love. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 
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