You’d be hard pressed
to find an artist today that can write, produce, arrange, sing, and play all
in one album. If you search a little harder, you’ll discover that Brian
McKnight can do it all. McKnight has compiled a vast repertoire that
includes collaborations with Vanessa Williams, Justin Timberlake, Boyz II
Men and Mariah Carey. The list could go on. It is a wonder that after
being nominated numerous times, McKnight has not secured a Grammy Award.
Being snubbed aside, McKnight continues to produce music that crosses genre
lines and breaks new musical territory, an accomplishment that cannot be
measured by any award. His new release, Gemini is no exception.
Fueled by lead single
“What We Do Here,” Gemini is destined to become any music lover’s
favorite. The single, which flirts with the topic of a discreet, intimate
encounter, showcases McKnight’s voice gliding effortlessly above equally
impressive production. The live instrumentation is crisp and contains the
pristine pop elements of a live band.
is one of those collections on which each track gets better and better.
Listeners will find themselves discovering something new with each listen.
McKnight treads familiar territory with the ballad “Everytime You Go Away.”
It is a signature McKnight ballad, containing a sparse piano backdrop and
full, lush strings. In what seems to be an attempt to stay contemporary,
McKnight welcomes southern rapper Juvenile to the fold. Juve’s inclusion on
“Whatcha Gonna Do” seems a little out of place, but his style is properly
applied to McKnight’s talents and it works better than expected.
“Everything I Do” is a perfect example of the pure vocal prowess McKnight
boasts. “Here with You” is pure soul enjoyment. It is a tune meant to be a
feel-good, reassurance of love, with a throwback vibe. As he croons,
“There’s no place/I’d rather be/Than here with you,” McKnight’s falsetto
punctuates the track sounding better than Michael Jackson, pre-surgery. The
jazzy “Your Song” is fitting closer and is further proof that McKnight can
take any type of genre and make it his own.
is worth more than just a listen. It is worth taking note that McKnight
owns one of the best pure voices in music, a voice that may never be
matched. McKnight’s followers will probably agree that McKnight has topped
himself with Gemini. Like wine, McKnight gets better with age. His
music is timeless. Hopefully this is a preview of greater things to come
from one of music’s premiere talents. (2/05)