Although not as initially engaging as his contemporaries, bassist/soul singer Paul Randolph proves on Lonely Eden that you don’t need to be “neo” to leave a mark in the soul world. The Detroit artist’s 58-minute sophomore album is chock full of funk and soul while his vocals are undeniably smooth and sincere. Perhaps the most difficult hump to overcome with being a soul artist is not falling into the realm of sounding generic. Luckily for Randolph, that never happens. And he succeeds in his efforts of not pigeonholing his songwriting to a certain style.
The somber and introspective “Broken (AKA Warnings)” stands up perfectly next to the song-for-the-people “Golden Days”. Even his braggadocio-track, “Leanin’”, doesn’t sound forced or over-the-top. Much of Randolph’s appeal is in his ability to layer his rich vocals over lush production as vibrant as the album’s namesake. But that’s not to say it’s over-produced. Lonely Eden only falls short on a few dragging tracks that make the album more of a grower than an addictive first listen. That being written, you’ll most likely agree with Stevie Wonder, who sang Randolph’s praises, about the magic of this record.
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// Sound Affects
"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.READ the article