Ronald Isley: This Song Is For You

Posted July 25, 2013 by in r&b



2/ 5


Genre: ,
Producer: , , , , , ,
Genre: R&B, soul
Producer: Troy Taylor, Bryan-Michael Cox, Kendrick Dean, Jerren "J-Kits" Spruill, Jordan "Infinity" Suecof
Label: eOne
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 47:20
Release Date: 16 July 2013
Spin This: "This Song Is for You," "The Boss"


He still sounds good, and can put a hurting on the young urban AC crooners of today


Midtempo urban soul dominates; becomes too predictable. Cheesy lyrics outside of Isley's age group obliterates the menu

Sultry soul-singing legend falls into the mosh pit of predictable midtempo urban AC ooze

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Sultry soul-singing legend falls into the mosh pit of predictable midtempo urban AC ooze 

Ronald Isley’s voice is still as shiny and velvety as it was when he graced the Isley Brothers’s first major slow jam,“For the Love of You,” back in 1975. Generations later, and now a free man after serving prison time for tax evasion, Isley tries to pick up where he left off last. 2010’s Mr. I, his first major release since being released, prepped the crooner for a style that’s primed for urban AC, bearing nothing too fast and nothing to slow. That same agenda seems to be in heavy rotation on This Song Is for You. The Jaheim-sounding title track, peppered with R. Kelly’s Chicago steppin’ and neo-souled guitar plucks, is a satisfying appetizer. KEM, a young protégé of the Isley kind, joins his influence on “My Favorite Thing.” Nothing here resembles the Julie Andrews sing-a-long (thank God), but Mister Biggs sounds so out of place when he’s serenading the ear with silly tricks made for kids: “So if you meet her on Facebook, tweet me/My baby is the only I freak, see.” It’s definitely a far cry from the romantic poetry that outlined his greatest triumphs. But had the album presented a better package of material complimentary to Isley’s wisdom and legacy, this would have been a summer breeze. Fans of Ne-Yo will find solace in Troy Taylor-produced “The Boss” and will even delight in the throwback-sounding nature of “Reunion” and the Trey Songz-guested “Lay You Down,” but the overabundance of midtempo booty call jams feels like a safe, tepid cookie cutter workout aimed at rebranding Isley as a 20-year old substandard R&B singer. You can smell the evidence of that from the album’s lead single. “Dinner and a Movie” is possibly his weakest lead single to date, and should never be compared with one single Isley Brother slow jam. The song feels so cheap that you’d think he’d settle for McDonald’s and a matinee.



About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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