If you have ever felt that current R&B had settled too deep into a formula, then get some Lemar to restore your faith in Soul - on his second album, he described himself as a Soul man and he sets about proving it here.
Unashamedly referring back to classic Soul for the production, this set hangs together beautifully, building through several high points to a quite superb Soulful climax. Those high points include the single, "It Ain't Easy", and the wonderful "Just Can't Live Without Each Other Love", both of which had me marvelling at the man's voice, and his ability to bring the emotion from the song, without resorting to histrionics.
It is towards the end of the album, however, you will find three songs which, elevate Lemar to the position as the UK premier Soul singer. The gritty "Beauty Queen" has Lemar warbling over a guitar led backing track and some great backing vocals, while on the spare and beautiful "Your Face", his delivery does justice to the poignant lyric. Add to these the incredible "Caroline", which perfectly encapsulates the agonies of lost love and you have the makings of a modern classic.
This album has been a constant on my player since I bought it. If you have a liking for Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Alexander O'Neal or any of the other great Soul voices from the 70's and 80's, then this is for you - real Soul from right now. Lemar is that good.
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