Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Will Wheaton - Consenting Adultz - 1998 - Platinum Bass

We have been treated to two essential albums from this most impressive vocalist. This album was released in 1998, and was followed in 2005 by the equally impressive "Old Skool Soul" album. I was listening to Lincoln Adler’s "The Dream" CD (Chartmaker, 1996) recently and got to my favourite song which is "Show You The Way To Love". I have always raved about the song, and the great new singer that stole the show. Will’s vocals are very, very soulful, and his voice plummets as low as the late, great Isaac Hayes, and as such is a sheer powerhouse in his delivery. Although this set was released in 1998 I cannot believe how ‘now’ it sounds. I have spoken to Will many times since I discovered this CD, and I agree with Will that the set was, for all intents and purposes, ahead of its time. I can see this where the uptempo material is concerned as the style is definitely not out of place with today’s chunkier, funkier rhythms. I am also very impressed with the quality of the songs, easily faring well against the major labels. The general gist of the CD is summed up eloquently by the liner notes: "And remember listening to this album alone is not advised you must be in the presence of another consenting adult!" OK, this is a CD for horizontal dancing and no bones about it.

As for who is helping Will on this CD, that’s the best part. Lincoln Adler appears with the aforementioned "Show You The Way To Love", and we also have the VERY classy work of Raymond Jones with the KILLER ballad, "Baby Its On". Will, on this song, is as mature and adult as you can hope for and this song is pure CLASS. Do not miss this song whatever you do. If that is not enough then I implore you to check out the HEAVENLY final cut, "My Promise" which is delivered to us courtesy of producer S. Mayo who is a Chapter 8 affiliate and wrote the glorious "Give Me A Chance" of their "Forever" album. AND Chapter 8 member Valerie Pinkston can be heard doing background vocals. If that isn’t classy, then you tell me what is!
More classy ballad action can be found on track 4 which is complete quality – I like the occasional dramatic synth flourish which reminds me of Prince. "Let’s Do This" has a flavour of Christopher Williams vocals tied in with the sort of groove we heard on the last-but-one Manhattans CD such as "Can You Take It" which was a composition by … Will Wheaton! All these songs are just exceptional by anyone’s standards and personally I would buy the CD purely for any one of songs, but there is also the more uptempo material to get our teeth into. I was not expecting "Le’ Me Ride" or "Jiggy Love" to be anything worth reviewing but I couldn’t be any more wrong. The Isaac-inspired vocals on "Le’ Me Ride" complete with its funky, infectious bassline is little short of superb. Slinkier, and dirtier still in the beats department is "Jiggy Love". Not sure what Jiggy is, but Will seems to like it! ESSENTIAL 90s SOUL.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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