Peabo Bryson: Stand for Love

Posted October 27, 2018 by in r&b



3.5/ 5


Genre: ,
Genre: R&B, soul
Producer: Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, John Jackson
Label: Perspective
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 40:09
Release Date: 3 August 2018
Spin This: "Looking for Sade," "Love Like Yours and Mine, "All She Wants to Do Is Me"


Bryson is in great form; production value is updated perfectly for the soul veteran; "Looking for Sade" is possibly the album's greatest moment of creativity


Ballads Classics medley doesn't quite sound live, more uptempos would've been wise and the overplayed Charlie Wilson strategy is obvious here

Soul balladeer returns with updated style on comeback album

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Soul balladeer returns with updated style on comeback album

peabobryson-00From “Feel the Fire” champion to Disney vocal prince (“A Whole New World,” “Beauty and the Beast”), Peabo Bryson stands tall as one of the blessed R&B male crooners of the late 20th century. He’s abided in the shadows of soul giants like Luther Vandross and Freddie Jackson, but Bryson, a two-time Grammy winner, has always been instrumental in R&B’s giant climb to the masses, even if he doesn’t always get the credit. His last disc, 2007’s Missing You, was released well over a decade ago, and so Bryson’s voice, presence and impact are truly missed.

On his 19th solo album, Stand for Love, Bryson returns to the table and is completely updated on the contemporary R&B age we’re in, not sounding dated or ferociously young. He’s somewhere smacked in the middle, crooning over 30-and-up soul and seductive urban beats. And all of this is guided by the attentive direction of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, with John Jackson (Ruben Studdard, Johnny Gill) assisting.

The highlights are mostly stacked toward the front. The pleasantly funky and overtly sexy opener “All She Wants to Do Is Me” puts him on the dancefloor, almost a rarity for the faithful balladeer. Further along, he takes a few risks on this disc. Listen intently to “Love Like Yours and Mine.” Sure, it’s a little Trey Songz-esque in nature, but the vibes doesn’t sound so removed from the bedroom decorum of Dexter Wansel-Teddy Pendergrass (i.e “Love T.K.O,” “The Sweetest Pain”). It’s a good blend of the two schools. And “Looking for Sade” is simply genius, turning the reclusive ‘80’s soul icon Sade Adu into Bryson’s “fantasy lover.”  And his magical crooning atop the Latin soul sets fire to the lyrics, brimming with enough heat to usher Sade out of semi-retirement: “Since I heard your voice on my stereo/You sing loud and the lights down low…You’re so far away/You’re my Sade.”

The rest of the disc hardly disappoints with the anthemic hip-hop title track (“Stand for Love”) and “Goosebumps (Never Lie),” a sun-kissed churchy gem featuring Gary Clark, Jr. on guitar. Towards the back of the disc, a magical moment happens when Bryson revisits three of his career landmarks (“Feel the Fire,” “I’m So Into You,” “Tonight I Celebrate My Love”) in a live medley guest starring Chante Moore. He sound great on these unforgettable gems, but the live aspect of it feels very mechanical as if it was studio recorded and overdubbed to give off a live euphoria. And some of the tracks feel a bit safe (“Here for You,” “Smile”), as if it’s trying to chase after the overrated Charlie Wilson adult-R&B blueprint. But Bryson delivers the songs with such fervor and without any sign of vocal diminishing throughout the course. At 67 years young, he’s out to prove that he’s still standing and he’s standing strong for love. And the next time you see him on late night TV, he might be hosting a Time-Life infomercial promoting this disc exclusively.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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