I honestly don’t believe there is a harder job in music right now than the arduous task of selling a good love song. It could be that listeners are more consumed with the ideals of no holds barred sexual escapades and making it rain in the club. Modern day love songs skip past the ideals of romance. All of the “foreplay” is now hopped over for the more convienient rush of tell your special girl that you would rather make her “Wet The Bed” than sweep her off of her feet (Sorry Breezy). For those that still long for the good ol’ days, I offer Eric Roberson, who personal bias aside, is my favorite artist all genres included right now. His new album, Mister Nice Guy, is a collective of all elements good about modern music combined with the integrity of our great Soul and R&B legends.
From the onset of the album, Eric sets the tone for a record filled with tales about a man’s plight to do right when being wrong is so easy. The title track, “Mister Nice Guy”, is a bouncy ode to perils of the guy who goes all out to please the woman that he currently wooing. “How Does It Feel” featuring former Zhane siren Jean Baylor, details the story of an insecure man tempted by his significant other’s journal entries. The album plays out like concept driven manifesto of every thing that real men often face, but will rarely discuss over a few beers, and that to me is what makes the album great. Not since Usher’s seminal opus, Confessions, has an album revealed so much about the male perspective. From the romantic and pulsating “Fall” to the encouraging and upstanding “Male Ego”, there is no Superman here, just Clark Kent.
Musically the album takes you on a ride…elements of Hip-Hop (“Strangers” and “Try Love), Gospel (“All For Me”), and Jazz (“At The Same Time”) are all represented on the album. Erro even takes a few cues from House music for the the awesome “Come WIth Me”, featuring Chicago collective The Ones. Notable production from Denaun Porter (“Talking Reckless”) and Hezekiah (“Male Ego”) round out a colorful montage of different musical influence that shape this project. The album also includes appearances by Phonte (“Picture Perfect”) and Chubb Rock (“Summertime Anthem”).
In closing, it’s not easy being a hopeless romantic in the modern day landscape. In a world where people are seemingly numb to the the affairs of the heart, Eric Roberson creates an album that gives hope to the guys that Dads wants their daughters to bring home.
“How Would I Feel”