Kem: Intimacy  

Motown/PGD

On his third outing, Kem proves himself a low-wattage Maxwell. Dark and handsome, he strikes an equally romantic, mysterious figure within the urban/adult contemporary market. With his sultry Al Jarreau tenor, Kem sincerely sings self-penned lyrics of intimacy and relationships instead of bravado and backbreaking. Similarly, Kem's female-friendly music is at home on both jazz and soul stages. However, after a five-year hiatus, his long-awaited, Rex Rideout-produced project departs from Maxwell by delivering what is basically an extension of his first two ballad-heavy offerings. Essentially the third movement in a suite, Intimacy is comforting in its predictability, but too reverential with respect to his earlier releases. Sung with a consistent caress over polished productions, it soothes and placates. Yet, only three cuts test Kem's routine, including the single "Why Would You Stay" and a duet with Maurissa Rose. Whereas Maxwell's latest work challenges, Kem's only cajoles. (3 out of 5 stars)

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Album Reviews

Readers also liked…

More by L. Michael Gipson

Restaurant Review: Bread & Butterfly
Restaurant Review: Bread & Butterfly

Search Events

  1. Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘E-MO-TION’ 3

    What happens when a pop star discovers nuance?
  2. Atlanta Record Store Day events 3

    Barbecue, beers, and beats all around the city
  3. Headliner’s revival 1

    Arrested Development co-founder speaks his peace after 20 years

Recent Comments

© 2016 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation