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CD REVIEW: Chase – "Introducing…Chase"
By Gian F - 07/15/2006 - 08:56 PM EDT

Artist: Chase
Album: "Introducing…Chase"
CD Review: Genre: R&B
Sounds Like: Eric Benet/Kenny Latimore
Technical Grade: 9
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9
Commercial Value: 7
Overall Talent Level: 9
Songwriting Skills: 8
Performance Skill: 9
Best Songs: Life Is Good, Still, Groove, Boston, Girlfriend
Weakness: ?
CD Review: Chase, a singer/songwriter from Oakland, California, sent me a coherent project that stylishly captures his musical essence and pays homage to vintage R&B music in the process. With the help of his collaborator, Michael Witwer, he manages to achieve something that many contemporary R&B vocalists fall short of doing: embracing the soul and class of a genre that has been distorted and diluted by hip-hop.

With a nice blend of covers ("Girlfriend," "Boston," and "Sugar Free") and original songs that are well-produced, Chase gracefully places himself in the company of veteran R&B crooners like Eric Benet and Kenny Latimore. His vocal performances on the radio-friendly "Groove," and his most commercial track, "Life Is Good," are valuable and needed additions to this project, but Chase is at his best when his silky tenor is left unencumbered and on full display, as evidenced on the poignant cover of Lalah Hathaway’s "Boston," and "The Lonely Hearts Club" which bares strong Donny Hathaway influence.

From beginning to end, this mellow, easy listening CD is a stellar independent project that showcases the vocal talents, as well as the songwriting and performance skills that will keep Chase and his smooth brand of R&B around for many years to come. Lovers of classic R&B music don't need to look any further, a formal introduction has been made.

Advice: The industry is simply confused about what to do with, and how to handle projects like this. Be prepared for the long haul because it takes the power of perseverance (and a good marketing plan that you believe in) to achieve success as an Urban AC artist in today’s hip-hop dominated climate. Consistent performances will be key.

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