No wonder Alain Clark is one of Warner’s top priorities for 2009.
Elle J Small 2009
Marketable, modern-day R&B: check. Serious eye candy: check. Major label backing: check. No wonder Alain Clark is one of Warner’s top priorities for 2009.
The Netherlands may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of radio-friendly R&B but Alain Clark is already a huge sensation in his homeland. Having hit double-platinum sales there, Clark gets set to launch his UK career with Live It Out.
The album is preceded by mushy yet masterful single Father and Friend – a gushing ballad that sees Clark duet with his father Dane – a veteran soul musician in his own right.
There’s better still with opener ‘Blow Me Away’. Taking R&B back to its Motown roots with heavy horns and stunning vocals, this is an aural lovechild of America’s Robin Thicke and the highly underrated Leela James.
Then, there’s steamy number ‘Go There’ with its emotional church organ and Clark’s provocative lyrics. Sweet ballad ‘All You Gotta Change’ is also a standout, with its gorgeous, stripped-back piano.
Yes, there’s some serious cheese, too: notably the overly feel-goodness of ‘Hold On’ and the smugness that seeps out of wannabe-humble number ‘I Don’t Wanna Change The World’.
There’s also some pleasant surprises: the cinematic, country-inspired cut ‘Fell In Love’ with its whimsical production and dreamy hooks and the Eric Benet-influenced ‘She’s The One’.
It is clear Alain Clark draws influence from many of modern-day R&B’s greats, yet his luminous vocals hold their own in today’s ever-changing music market.