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CD REVIEW: Amar Khalil - "Where There's A Will There's A Way"
By Gian F - 01/10/2006 - 08:55 PM EST

Artist: Amar Khalil
Album: "Where There's A Will There's A Way"
CD Review: Genre: Contemporary Gospel
Sounds Like: Art & Soul/Raphael Sadiq
Technical Grade: 9
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9
Commercial Value: 7
Overall Talent Level: 8
Songwriting Skills: 8
Performance Skill: 8
Best Songs: Sunny Day, Quickly, Solitary, Can't Stay Away, Higher
Weakness: ?
CD Review: For those who are searching for some good soul food, Amar Khalil, a singer/songwriter from Oakland, California, is serving up healthy portions of it. With a smooth tenor voice that will inevitably draw comparison to former Tony, Toni, Tone front man Raphael Sadiq, Amar establishes himself as an emerging Bay Area talent on his debut CD.

His inspirational lyrical content and skilled vocal arrangements are perfectly framed by the top-notch production of the venerable Jamie Hawkins who enlisted the backing vocals of rising Gospel star, Sunny Hawkins, to create a commercially viable and spiritually based project which will appeal to the R&B crowd and radio program directors alike. While the funky undertones and melodic rhythms of the opening tracks ("Where There's A Will There's A Way" and "Higher") suggest that this is merely another R&B project, they only serve as a top layer to the refreshing messages of faith, positivity and altruism that lie beneath them.

The two most commercial tracks, the joyfully tender "Sunny Day," is an R&B radio gem with AC appeal, as is the lone ballad on this project, the pop-friendly and poignant, "Quickly," which has the greatest crossover potential of the two. They both can be used as keys to open the door to mainstream success. Other stand out tracks include the hard-hitting, Kirk Franklinesque "Can't Stay Away," and his deepest and most vocally demanding track that lingers in your mind and will resonate with radio listeners, "Solitary." These two songs will connect him with his core fan base and win him bonus points with his contemporary Gospel peers.

With convictions and talent this strong, Amar has already succeed in ways that many have not. Now we'll just have to wait and see if where there's a will, there's a way to take it to the next level.

Advice: Strategically market and promote this. It has mainstream potential.

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