Review : Kevin Michael - Kevin Michael
BillboardBased solely on some of the company Kevin Michael is keeping, the R&B newcomer is attention-worthy. Wyclef Jean, Lupe Fiasco and Q-Tip guest on the self-titled album, while the singer/ songwriter's tour credits include opening stints for Maroon 5 and Lily Allen. Michael calls to mind Prince and Rahsaan Patterson with his sweet/ smooth falsetto and outside-the-box mix of pop, R&B/ soul and funk. Whether discoursing about Jesus freaks and thugs, wanting something real out of life ("We All Want the Same Thing" featuring Fiasco) or his biracial background ("It Don't Make Any Difference to Me" featuring Jean), the Angela Davis-fro'd Michael takes the listener on an energetic romp that swerves from lovelorn R&B ("If I Ain't Got You") to playful funk ("Vicki Secrets"). Keep an ear open....full text
BlenderHe’s got a funky ’fro. He dresses in chic boho gear. He trills skater references in a flawless falsetto, complemented by cameos from alternative rappers like Lupe Fiasco and Q-Tip. But never mind the familiar trappings, 22-year-old Kevin Michael is not so much neosoul as Ne-Yo soul — an irresistible blend of deliciously commercial R&B and classy, retro-flavored funk. Whether jamming about his “weekend jump-off,” bemoaning the fact that he “ain’t got you” or waxing theoretical about being mixed race, Michael never shies away from going pop, and the results are spectacular: Every hook on his stellar debut is instantly alluring....full text
RollingstoneOn his debut, Afro’d newcomer Kevin Michael makes bright R&B for people who think Chris Brown isn’t pop-friendly enough. At his worst, the young Philadelphian sounds green, relying too much on vocal swoops and falsettos and over-employing cutesy singsong choruses. But on friendly jams like the lovestruck “Hood Buzzin” and the slinky, Prince-esque “We All Want the Same Thing,” Michael is a confident hookmeister and born crowd pleaser. The reggae-tinged, Wyclef-assisted “It Don’t Make Any Difference to Me”-- about the difficulty of growing up biracial -- is by far the most interesting thing here. But Michael’s pop instincts -- not to mention some warm, jumpy beats from up-and-coming producers like Shea Taylor -- keep him afloat....full text
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