R&B newcomer Michael worth a listen

In an industry of short-lived fame and fading talent it is hard to decipher who is a real talent and who is hand-picked and crafted by the industry to be a singing puppet. Kevin Michael, a new should-be R&B sensation, has come onto the music scene and anyone who hears him will realize he is a true talent.

Kevin Michael makes his debut with his self-titled album which was released about eight days ago on Atlantic Records. The album boasts the young singer’s amazing voice and melody, accompanied by features like Lupe Fiasco, Wyclef Jean and 5Q-Tip. On the album’s first song, “We All Want the Same Thing,” featuring conscientious lyricist Lupe Fiasco, Michael sings an anthem about the similar goals we all move toward. Then, on “Can’t Get Enuff,” an upbeat summer-styled hit aimed at the ladies, Michael tells us a story about a captivating female in his life. On “Ain’t Got You,” the singer resembles Alicia Keys and her song of the same title, but puts a new spin on it and makes the song about utter desperation for a loved one. Finally, on “Too Blessed,” Michael joins forces with legend Q-Tip in a feel-good jam about fame and talent, and the plight of dealing with certain people along that path.

Kevin Michael has mastered the perfect sound of new R&B and draws comparisons to soul singer John Legend. It looked as though modern male R&B was struggling, with Omarion and Marques Houston taking over the airwaves, but its new days look bright with Kevin Michael around. Though he struggles to be sincere on a few pop-fueled tracks, likely because marketability is a major issue in the industry, the singer’s raw talent is evident and impressive.

Dan Buyanovsky may be contacted at d.buyanovsky@umiami.edu.