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17 Dec 2011

Album Reviews: “Conquer” and “Love After War”

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December 17, 2011 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

By Bianca Roach

associated press


Four years after releasing “So Much Better,” Carl Thomas returns with his aptly entitled fourth album, “Conquer.” Instead of his usual slow singing style, Thomas serves up a more uptempo record with 10 tracks showing off a new found flair that brings him back to life.


The album opener “The Night is Yours” sets the mood for the record: It’s a fun, upbeat song that’ll have you nodding your head with approval. This refreshing new style continues on track two with “Long Distant Love Affair.” His soulful vocals, set over a solid drum beat, provide a nice, laid-back vibe.


“Round 2” is sexy and seductive: His well-known falsetto and a pounding bass-line will leave you wanting more. Lead single “Don’t Kiss Me” is a throwback to his old style, and has Thomas demanding total commitment from his woman — or nothing. It’s a sentiment not often heard from men in the sex-focused R&B realm, and it’s bound to become a classic.


If you appreciate soulful ballads, this album is for you. It’s takes you back to the old days of real R&B.


Robin Thicke delivers with ‘Love After War’


Much of the subject matter for “Love After War,” the fifth record from Robin Thicke, is based on Thicke’s relationship with wife and Hollywood starlet Paula Patton. While there are some stormy moments, judging from the disc as a whole, Patton is a lucky girl.


Thicke wrote and produced the album with Pro Jay, and delivers a great mix of seductive songs that are bound to get temperatures rising.


From the top, Thicke’s sultry voice sets the scene with the slow jam “All Tied Up.” But before you can get too comfortable in a dreamy state, he swiftly takes you back to the 1960s with the Motown-sounding “An Angel On Each Arm” — a track Stevie Wonder would be proud of.


The album’s only collaboration features old friend Lil Wayne. “Pretty Lil’ Heart” is their third song together, but this time Thicke’s voice is the main focus. Wayne starts the track off with a syrupy flow over the piano and drums before Thicke takes full control. The rhythmic verses are smooth and his voice is strongest when he sings the chorus: “Baby, you got me, don’t worry your pretty little heart.” This one is definitely classic old school R&B.


At 20 tracks on the deluxe edition, there are some minor exhausting moments, and there’s not a song that touches Thicke’s classic “Lost Without You.”


But overall, “Love After War” is still a must buy. And with Christmas just around the corner, it’s safe to say that just like Santa, Thicke always delivers.


CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: The orchestral-inspired “Never Give Up” is a quirky track with a theatrical vibe that will have you addicted.

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