Tuesday, 20 December 2016
Hark The R&B King Sings.
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the industry. Not a musician was working. Not even a Kanye. Except for Tank. The soul soldier who keeps rolling out the hits. A champion like the Cavaliers. The LeBron James of smooth, grown up R&B. Or at least one third the King, with royal TGT subjects, innovator Ginuwine and Hollywood actor Tyrese Gibson sharing the throne and holding it like an 'Empire' Lyon king dynasty. They released a Christmas track ('Be My Holiday') two seasons back that Tank owned hook, verse line and production kitchen sink after their supergroup project. And now after a monster year, giving us the sequel to his Grammy nominated 'Sex, Love & Pain' classic with the R&B album of the year 'SLP2' (that was released right in January no less), following his album each year artillery of 'Now Or Never', 'This Is How I Feel' and 'Stronger', the 'Maybe I Deserve' singer has something else for us to unwrap. And we thought you couldn't fit a Tank under a tree.
And yes this one man really is a force of nature. Because after devoting a valentines E.P. of Adele and soundalike Sam Smith covers ('If You Were Mine'), not to mention countless crate digging mixtapes and singles (remember the 'Shots Fired' with Chris Brown), Tanks' good tidings have given us another extended play for Christmas. And in following in the studio steps of Destinys Child and Luther Vandross it really is beginning to look like the season of giving now as the singer loads up 'A Classic Christmas' and all the greats for this time of year. And no we're not talking about 'Snow Cold' or no 'Bishop Cognac and Mince Pies'. But 'Him, Her, Them'? They're all getting presents this Christmas like Oprah. Leave the milk and cookies out for this guy, because his trademark piano keys and high note vocals that were stripped down to their bare essentials on his last holiday E.P. are back as he begins with a wish of 'Have Yourself A Merry Christmas'. Perfect for wrapping presents by the fireplace with the Christmas lights shining like the stars this singer used to croon about on his black and white Motown inspired 'Stronger' lead single. 'Silent Night' continues this warm Winter feeling well into the evening as Tank flips this timeless tale his own way but still makes it all well and all bright. Just like with the 'Chestnuts' roasting by the open fire as one of the 'Three Kings' channels the great Nat King Cole with his own legacy for the legend.
Durrell Babbs makes sure it really is a 'White Christmas' like New York City right now as he keeps this dozen-track record strictly with the best of December 25th, no stocking filler. Especially when he gifts us with 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing' showcasing his showstopping vocal range which extends from chimney to chimney from the street. This should be played in every household this week to get you in the mood. If it doesn't feel like Christmas yet for you, it's about to you when you drop the needle on this record. Tank even has some thanksgiving leftovers for us, in the form of an original song for your fill. And 'Thankful For You' and all its production trimmings shows just like his beat boards how good this man is when he goes it alone, as well as covering the best. As he sings "Thankful for you, for all my family and friends/Thankful for you, for all the time we get to spend", it's really us who are grateful to this genuine talent. Tis the joint for your Christmas dinner playlist. Merry Christmas to you and yours from the one who will always be faithfully so. Glory to the R&B King. TIM DAVID HARVEY.