Do you remember when you first realized that Atlanta's Anthony David was the real deal? I'd caught whiffs of his talent over the years, but it wasn't until As Above So Below and this performance of "Backstreet" that I really caught on. On his latest album, Love Out Loud, he spreads his wings even further, freely exploring a multitude of sounds sharing the common theme of that little thing called love.
Our first tastes of the musical gumbo that is Love Out Loud came with "So Jaded" and the sexy, Isley Brothers and Marvin Gaye-inspired "Sweet Pain." Just as each of those songs had a distinct feel, so does the rest of the album, and it makes for a compelling listen. Whether guarded about the possibility of falling in love on the buoyant "Can't Look Down" or exploring the spirit of rock on the album's closer "A Way for Me," David has found his creative space and I'm glad he allowed us in it.
After the success of "4evermore," it's good to hear Anthony team up with fellow Atlantan Algebra Blessett again, and like the title of the song, the duet is "Official." They had me longing for more duets like this and just to remind us of a time back when they were done right, they engage in a little talk back à la Kashif and Meli'sa Morgan on 1987's "Love Changes."
We get a real throwback '80's vibe on "Control Freak." This song could've also been called "Opposites Attract" because Anthony and his girl sound like they are all wrong for each other. But, don't they say there's someone for everyone? Apparently she's his one because she's a control freak and he likes it.
Among my favorite songs on the album is a reggae influenced track "Livin' It Up", featuring Demetria McKinney (a.k.a. Janine Payne from Tyler Perry's House of Payne) and Gramps Morgan. Like me, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the authenticity of the song and will probably have to press rewind before moving on. "Movie Night" is another contender due to its laid back vibe and kickin' bass line.
"On My Way to Crazy" is one of several examples from this album of how recording with a live band makes all the difference. The Do-Gooders are Anthony David's go-to band and helped him bring to life what is essentially the story of his career. Sometimes you have to be a little crazy to step out on a limb and accomplish what others doubt you will.
Anthony David isn't just singing for the sake of hearing himself, his lyrics have substance, and that's what drew me to him when I first heard him exchanging lines with Algebra in early 2011. You shouldn't let 2012 (or the world?) end without experiencing what it's like to Love Out Loud.