Tim Dillinger - Love Is On My Mind (2004)

Tim Dillinger

Produced by Dale Babb, Love Is On My Mind is a strong debut that shows a talented young artist who is still developing.  The analogy that comes to mind is singer Anita Baker at the time of her first album, The Songstress.  Listening to that album, it was clear that Baker had a fabulous voice and star potential, but had still not developed the sense of nuance of a great singer - something that would occur over the course of the next few years (through Rapture and Giving You the Best That I've Got).  Similarly, Dillinger's voice is an incredible instrument, especially when he lays out his Phil Perry-like falsetto.  And like an early Baker, it is clear that he still has not reached his peak as a vocal interpreter, though he appears to be on the path.

Produced by Dale Babb, Love Is On My Mind is a strong debut that shows a talented young artist who is still developing.  The analogy that comes to mind is singer Anita Baker at the time of her first album, The Songstress.  Listening to that album, it was clear that Baker had a fabulous voice and star potential, but had still not developed the sense of nuance of a great singer - something that would occur over the course of the next few years (through Rapture and Giving You the Best That I've Got).  Similarly, Dillinger's voice is an incredible instrument, especially when he lays out his Phil Perry-like falsetto.  And like an early Baker, it is clear that he still has not reached his peak as a vocal interpreter, though he appears to be on the path.

Love Is On My Mind covers a fairly broad territory, though it is dominated by a light urban sound that works well with Dillinger's voice.  Dillinger's lyrics are an interesting blend of spiritual and romantic imagery, though generally a bit flowery for my taste.  It's here that I have to give special notice to producer Dale Babb, who really does a great job helming the album, with uniformly excellent arrangements (and especially effective use of acoustic guitar on a number of cuts).  It is a real compliment to say that this does not sound like an independently released album, but has the sonic richness of a major label release.  Notable highlights are the first single, "Promise To Stay," a nifty midtempo that should receive extensive airplay on Urban Adult Contemporary stations, and "The Day You Held Me," an excellent blend of acoustic and electronic similar to David Gray's "Babylon."   And while a couple hip-hop numbers are less effective, Dillinger shines on "Just Doesn't Matter," "Dreams (Come Alive)," "Can't Help But Say," and the funky "Til the Six is Nine."

Love Is On My Mind is a very nice debut for Tim Dillinger, a promising newcomer who could develop into a major artist in both the Gospel and Urban markets.  Worth checking out.

By Chris Rizik

 

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