Homemadesoul - Random Thoughts (2013)

Homemadesoul
Homemadesoul Random Thoughts.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

Curtis L. Clark, the man who performs as Homemadesoul, never strays too far from his gospel roots. Those spiritual roots are so ingrained that they regularly branch into his secular songs, which is the case on his new record, Random Thoughts. The gospel influences might be apparent on a tune such as “All She Needs" (feat. Nia Devine), with piano work that would sound right in place backing a church sermonic soloist. The track’s message advising us to encourage the people we love and not take them for granted can be applied to our relationships with friends and family as well as romantic situations. Homemadesoul is applying the message to the woman in his life, and he infuses his velvety vocal with the inflections and soulfulness that gospel and soul fans expect. The song’s hook, “Oh sometimes, all she needs/is an uplifting word from you,” recalls some of the memorable lines penned by gospel artists over the last decade.

Curtis L. Clark, the man who performs as Homemadesoul, never strays too far from his gospel roots. Those spiritual roots are so ingrained that they regularly branch into his secular songs, which is the case on his new record, Random Thoughts. The gospel influences might be apparent on a tune such as “All She Needs" (feat. Nia Devine), with piano work that would sound right in place backing a church sermonic soloist. The track’s message advising us to encourage the people we love and not take them for granted can be applied to our relationships with friends and family as well as romantic situations. Homemadesoul is applying the message to the woman in his life, and he infuses his velvety vocal with the inflections and soulfulness that gospel and soul fans expect. The song’s hook, “Oh sometimes, all she needs/is an uplifting word from you,” recalls some of the memorable lines penned by gospel artists over the last decade.

But when the artist inserts a reference to Jeremiah 20:9 in the club ready “Open,” you see that Homemadesoul is working to channel his inner Ray Charles. Those powerful emotions that the faithful encounter when connecting with God in church have long been redirected toward the affairs the heart, and Homemadesoul uses this propulsive, banging dance number to worship the woman who rendered him exposed and vulnerable. Being exposed has negative connotations because the risk of exploitation is always present. But the upbeat “Open” reveals the revelatory aspect of being exposed – the realization that you want to give yourself emotionally to another person. And Homemadesoul captures that feeling in everything from lyrics filled with descriptive metaphors and that memorable hook, “I’m so open to you baby/I’m gon let you walk right in.”

The artist is equally evocative in describing that negative side of love on the track “Alone Again,” which tells the story of a woman who, despite her best efforts, continually gets involved with men who break her heart. On the surface, she seems the have everything: The lyrics “She was a fine little thing, with a nice hair bang and she walked with a swang,” describe a woman who looks like a heart breaker rather than a woman who approaches relationships with a mixture of hope and a sick feeling that it will all go horribly wrong sooner or later.

Clark’s previous project, Inspirations, was a mixture of gospel and secular music. Although this record is titled Random Thoughts, Clark’s decision to stick primarily to secular fare makes for a more focused project. Authenticity and strong vocals that listeners come to expect from church based singers, along with solid lyrical content that typifies soul music pay dividends on Random Thoughts and provide for another pleasing output from this up-and-coming performer. Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 
Featured Album - Leon Ware - "Rainbow Deux"
Featured Album - David Porter - The Classics
Album of the Month - Cool Million - "Stronger"
Song of the Month - Ascendant - "Gotta Get Up"

Leave a comment!