On his latest album, Lost in Time, crooner Eric Benét hops into his musical time machine, taking
listeners on a trip back to the funky, soulful '70s. While in a lesser artist's hands, this attempt
at nostalgia could go horribly wrong, in Benét's hands, it comes across just right. Where some
songs straddle the line between an old-school and contemporary sound, many of the songs
could easily have been recorded back in the day. From the music production, right on down to
the vocal arrangements, Benét fully embodies the music that has so obviously influenced his
It's hard to ignore Benét's undeniable vocal talent. The man can sang. Whether it be an
uptempo number or a slow groove, he holds his own, expertly utilizing his chops with a
confidence and ease that many of today's more contemporary artists could only wish they
could muster up. Another thing that stood out for me was the number of guest appearances.
Mr. Benét teams up with more artists on his fifth solo album than ever before. He's in good
company, however, as he gets a little help from the likes of Ledisi, Faith Evans, Eddie Levert, Chrisette Michele and
his 18-year-old daughter, India Benét.
Now, you either have to be damned good or damned crazy to decide to go toe-to-toe to the
legendary The O'Jays' front man Eddie Levert. However, Benét steps up to the challenge when
the two join forces on "Paid." Leaning heavily on the Gamble and Huff sound of The O'Jays'
classic "Backstabbers," the song finds the two singing about the struggles with m-o-n-e-y--or the
lack thereof. Even with his massive voice, however, Benét still gets outshined by Eddie's even
bigger voice. His duets with Faith ("Feel Good") and Ledisi ("Good Life") are both fun,
upbeat songs that are sure to lift your spirits with just one listen. Though they may not be the
strongest songs on the album, they're certainly fun to jam to.
While he always does his thing on his faster-paced tunes, he shines best when he slows things
down. He does some serious vocal flexing on his current single, the soaring "Sometimes I
Cry." He hits on the right notes on this one, a melancholy tale of the regrets and memories
that accompany a recent break up. The opening seconds of the albums' title track instantly
reminded me of the opener to Benét 's 2008 single, "You're the Only One." However,
in a flash, the similarities ended with the song, instead interpolating a sample of The
Stylistics' "Break Up to Make Up."
As with most releases that op nowadays, several versions of Lost In Time are available at
various outlets. The version available at Target stores features two exclusive tracks, "Lady"
and "Last Train," while the iTunes version features four additional tracks, including an exclusive
cover of "Wake Up Everybody." While the iTunes extras didn't appear on the copy I reviewed,
I instantly recognized two of the songs ("Better and Better" and "I Might") from the advance
copy of his previously unreleased album, 2002's Better and Better. It's great that these songs
finally get to see the light of day because fan will surely enjoy them just as much.