Not Quite His Time

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 12:21 PM

Artist: Noel Gourdin
Album: After My Time
Release Date: 7.22.08

It’s taken me a while to write this review, because I’ve been trying to give it an honest chance. I picked up this CD as I browsed my local Best Buy a few weeks ago. The price was lookin’ pretty nice and since I liked his single, The River, I decided to give this brother a chance. I’ll be honest, initially I didn’t like it and it’s taken about the full 2 weeks to start growing on me. It wasn’t as good as I expected, and I doubt it will stay in my rotation, but there are a few nice cuts on it. Now usually when it comes to new artists, there’s a lead single to get my attention and the second single determines whether I’ll buy the album or not, but hey it was 7.99 so I figured he could get the benefit of the doubt off just one song. There’s no denying Noel Gourdin is a talented vocalist, but it takes more than a voice to make a good album.

After My Time (though littered with old school samples) lacks any real depth of content, and there’s barely any originality. Most of this project comes off as candy-shop music – a few appealing samples, but nothing of value under the wrapper. One Love is the opening track and is one of the more enjoyable songs on the album. The harmonies here mesh well with the production over a smooth mid-tempo beat. I’d also recommend I Fell, and my favorite, Led You On, which is probably the most lyrically deviant and musically speaking, the best to listen to. The sound and feel of the band backing his vocals on this track is the most genuine, and this is clearly where Gourdin fits the best. But then there are tracks like Hurts Like Hell and P.Y.T. where the vocals are nice, but the lyrics seem dry and almost desperate. The hook on Open can get a bit annoying after a while, and I probably would have shortened this down to an interlude instead of a full track.

Vocally, his sound and style is very reminiscent of Carl Thomas, but more modern. I had hope for this guy, but I’m not sure if I’d recommend it to my R&B fans out there. After My Time sounds like it’s just been overproduced and the lyrics have been pieced together from today’s larger R&B acts. Gourdin has a natural vocal ability that would probably fit better without as much production; I’d like to hear him do an acoustic set, or more tracks with the backing of a live band, and write some more emotional songs instead of the same stale R&B lyrics. Maybe it was lack of the artist’s creative control, or maybe it was too much creative control, but when it comes to After My Time, I wish him better luck next time…

Related Post: Noel Gourdin: Down Home Sangin!!


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