Keith Sweat - Just Me (2008)

Keith Sweat
Keith_Sweat_Just_Me_Album.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

After over 20 years in the recording industry, Keith Sweat is very aware of his audience. He has delivered timeless classics such as "I'll Give All My Love to You" and "Nobody" without ever even mildly deviating from his signature sound. As a result, Keith has one of the most distinctive voices in R&B music, which has been uncharitably been described as both nasally and whiney by critics for years. Nevertheless, as one of the most consistently RIAA certified male artists in R&B, his success with this musical formula speaks volumes. For many, Keith Sweat is R&B royalty. So it should be no surprise that on Just Me, his ninth studio album, Keith tiresomely recalls his old formula only this time with a slightly modern hip-hop spin.

After over 20 years in the recording industry, Keith Sweat is very aware of his audience. He has delivered timeless classics such as "I'll Give All My Love to You" and "Nobody" without ever even mildly deviating from his signature sound. As a result, Keith has one of the most distinctive voices in R&B music, which has been uncharitably been described as both nasally and whiney by critics for years. Nevertheless, as one of the most consistently RIAA certified male artists in R&B, his success with this musical formula speaks volumes. For many, Keith Sweat is R&B royalty. So it should be no surprise that on Just Me, his ninth studio album, Keith tiresomely recalls his old formula only this time with a slightly modern hip-hop spin.

Just Me is precisely what the title implies. It's unapologetic, complacent and a predictable effort from one of today's R&B veterans. Keith Sweat serves up a 12-track set of songs that's irrelevant at certain points, yet tolerable at others. Cuts like the Teddy Riley-produced "The Floor" and the sex-laden "Teach Me" force the listener to rightfully question Keith's level of taste. A middle-aged man singing about "sex in my jeep" as Keith does on "Just Wanna Sex You" usually conjures visions of a dirty old man leering at the ladies.

However, Keith doesn't totally disappoint. Just Me's first single, "Suga Suga Suga," is a catchy, sensual tune worthy of multiple after hour plays. Like many male R&B singers from his heyday, Keith likes to debut a new female muse with a golden voice. "Suga Suga Suga" features Paisley Bettis, who vocally bears a striking resemblance to one of Keith's past discoveries - Athena Cage. In 1996, Keith Sweat along with Athena Cage scored the #1 R&B hit "Nobody." Athena returns also as a featured vocalist on the album's sweet second single "Butterscotch."

Taking risks is obviously not the secure-minded vet's forte. Keith's been creating the same baby-making and heartstrings-tugging R&B music since his 1987 debut, Make It Last Forever. If Just Me is any indication, Keith is not interested in change at this point in his life. Just Me doesn't break any ground or beckon many new visitors to his music. Typically, artists don't like to create if there's a lack of inspiration. Keith Sweat seems to be doing the exact opposite-creating formula on demand. Maybe as an artist this is just who Keith is, hence the title--Just Me

 
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!