If you ask your older relatives, music is not what it once was. Albums that once contained so much passion and raw emotion have been replaced by top 40 singles that don’t care about expression; they want to have fun. In many ways, it’s like looking at different stereotypes: the straight-A student who cares about everything versus the fun-loving, free-spirited party child. In a world where the Party Princesses and high-rollers seem to dominate, D. Edward is bringing back a classic, contemporary pop style with his new album, Love Is.
“Waiting” is filled with rich bass, reminiscent of 80s love ballads that still dominate the radio, which remains consistent throughout the album. With poignant lyrics, and an original, soulful sound, D. Edward showcases his musical abilities beautifully. “Show Me (ft. Jenna Lavoie)” only adds on to the sultry, smooth jazz tone set in place by the first track (see also: “Mesmerized,” “Pretty Eyes”). Jenna Lavoie’s stunning vocals fit the song perfectly, working with D. Edward’s to convey a natural musical chemistry.
Throughout Love Is, D. Edward is joined by talented instrumentalists, such as Steffen Kuehn (trumpet), Tony Peebles (sax), Eric EQ Young (bass), Marlon “Wild Bill” Curry (percussion), Leah Tysse, and even Grammy-Award Winning pianist, Laura Sullivan, who contributes the melodic introduction to “Hold On.” The main track is reminiscent of the blues-pop style dominated by artists like Seal, with distinctive vocal power, classic instrumentals, and lyrics that deliver alongside a catchy sound, “Hold On” may be the standout track on the album. However, the song may have some competition with the melodic, rhythmic “I Love The Way” (although I could also say the same for “Mighty Love” and the title track, “Love Is”). At first glance, I honestly thought I would be able to predict “I Love The Way” down to the lyrics and tone, but it is a surprise from start to finish. With harmonic vocals, pounding piano, and well-timed deliveries, the musical influence is clear, but so is the originality; and it remains clear throughout the album.
“One For The Money” has a contemporary sound blending classic jazz/R&B sounds with funk, seamlessly creating a fusion of eras in music; a feat D. Edward accomplishes once again with “Don’t Say,” a bittersweet track filled with attitude. With bitingly harsh lyrics delivered by warm, rich vocals, accompanied by a contrasting instrumental, the song certainly packs a punch. The overall arrangement only adds to the enjoyment of the track, especially when listening to the versatility of D. Edward’s range.
Love Is proves to be an incredible feat for D. Edward. The two years it took to make this album were obviously worth every minute, because the hard work shines through. Each track will take you back to sitting in the car with your grandparents, listening to the contemporary radio, taking in the wealth of instrumental and vocal prowess that so many of those songs showcased. D. Edward provides the perfect feeling of familiarity, while still standing out as a fresh face in the crowd. If this album is any proof, there is no doubt that D. Edward will be adding his own portrait to the wall of contemporary artists who have set the standard for incoming artists.
For more on D. Edward, please click HERE.
Love Is is out NOW.