This album is fantastic & really makes me smile. This CD has "almost" no weak tracks, the weakest ones I consider to be "& now I'm fighting" (little sad "wasting" Branford Marsalis on this one) & "Open My heart". The rest are fantastic! & funky!
I think FM concentrated on writing very good songs this time, so yes the "playing" gets the backseat. To me this isn't a bad thing although I'm a HUGE jazz fan. I feel that FM has developed as a song writer & that's what he's trying to show. As a fellow songwriter I appreciate this. Also, the production is very laid back & soft which is a brave move to make with the result that nothing really stands out, not even the solos or the real funky bass & drum playing. Instead you have to listen very closely for the sweet licks. The upside is the whole album is very soothing & non-fatigueing. The sound quality & production is superb!
To me this is a very spiritual, uplifting & joyful album all n all & marks a change for (in?) FM. I'm completely convinced he will continue releasing diverse material. My fav' trax are: Characters Of Our God; Since The Day I Said I Do; "Wishful Thinking" (Ohh, the funky intro); the hauntingly beautiful "Leading You On" (impeccable playing) & so on & so on...
If you're looking for the best R&B album 2011 this will not be beat. Promise!!!