CD REVIEW: Ralph Tresvant - "Rizz Wa Faire"
By Gian F - 06/18/2006 - 03:55 PM EDT
Artist: Ralph Tresvant
Album: "Rizz Wa Faire"
Sounds Like: Ralph Tresvant
Technical Grade: 10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9
Commercial Value: 8
Overall Talent Level: 10
Songwriting Skills: 8
Performance Skill: 10
Best Songs: Love Hang Over, Never Noticed, Save A Little Love, Man Who Loves You, Angel
CD Review: Ralph Tresvant, lead singer and front man of the legendary R&B vocal group New Edition, has released a new solo LP that will inevitably place him in direct competition with a new generation of young male contemporary vocalists who he helped influence which include Usher, Neyo, Omarion, Justin Timberlake, and Bobby Valentino - all of which have had great chart success and heavy radio airplay. So what can an O.G. like Ralph T bring to an R&B genre that appears to be undergoing a revival? A distinguished vocal style that speaks to his 25 years of performance and recording experience, and a burning desire to reassert himself at the head of his class.
The project’s intro, "Sneaky," gives insight into what's been going on behind the scenes in Ralph’s business life as he makes mention of the "cut throat people"…"maggots"…and "mosquito ass niggas" that have tried to "snatch" his money during his career. After he lets off some steam, he starts the project with his most commercially viable song, "Love Hangover," a funky and melodic, up-tempo dance track that features Ralph’s silky tenor and plush harmonies over an infectious bass line.
The following track, "Angel," will inevitably draw comparison to Bobby Valentino’s 2005 smash hit, "Slow Down," with it’s layered sensual percussions and staggered beats. It’s a nice attempt at head-to-head competition, but it doesn’t resonate the way the project’s more original tracks do like the minimally produced, hip-hop flavored "Save A Little Love," and "Man Who Loves You," which picks up where his first solo hit, “Sensitivity” left off. Those are songs that find Ralph T competing with Ralph T…a competition he will win every time.
Always underrated as a vocalist, Ralph turns in genuine performances that distance and distinguish him from his up-and-coming contemporaries on the project’s slow jams "My Homegirl, "Too Cool," and "Never Noticed," which is a tender, and sparsely produced ballad that captures Ralph at his finest while emoting over the painful realization of lost love. It has instant appeal and cuts through generation gaps, and can be used as a key to opening the doors to success on a project that does not contain any contributions by a major producer, but solid production by Danny Dillman and Danny Bell of Xzault Media from San Leandro, California, who have major talent.
Advice: What advice can I give to an industry vet with 25 plus years of experience? Keep being you!
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