It appears that the second half of 2008 is for the ladies. Recent Maxwell concerts have got North American ladies all hot and excited, and slotting in whilst they Maxwell’s album is the soulful Mr Kenny Lattimore. Currently signed to Verve records, Lattimore’s new album "Timeless" is a beautiful collection of covers of older and newer artists. We know he has the voice, he has the looks, he has the hot wife and beautiful kids, but does this album cut it? In a word ‘kinda’.
The album opens with "Something" by Al Green, which is delivered over a nice mid tempo beat, which leads nicely into Jeff Buckley’s "Everybody Here Wants You". I like what he does with the track; there is a little roughness to the instruments which compliment Kenny’s tone. "You Are My Starship" strangely has a bass line similarly to Freddie McGregor’s "Natural Collie", but besides that the song is ok, and the album could be argued to start moving towards “blah”. However the album picks up again on track 5 "Come Down in Time" originally by Elton John. Lattimore stamps his mark on this song with beautiful vocals and moving string arrangements,. If there is one track that may remind people why they love Lattimore I believe that this is it, a truly amazing track.
So overall does the album work? In a word ‘kinda’. Where Lattimore is good, he truly shines, on tracks like The Beatles And "I Love Her", the previously mentioned "Come Down In Time", Stevie Wonder’s "It Ain’t No Use", Terence Trent D’Arby’s "Undeniably" and Donny Hathaway’s "Giving Up". There is great instrumentation, gentle emotion in the voice, and the whole package fits together. On other tracks however Lattimore is just OK, and sometimes he is lacking like on Aretha Franklin’s "Ain’t No Way", Marvin Gaye’s "That’s The Way Love Is", and Otis Reading’s :I Love You More Than Words Can Say". There is not enough soul, grit, life drama, emotion or whatever you want to call it to carry such big songs.
Like I said this album will work nicely for ladies waiting for the return of Maxwell, D’Angelo or Joe. Which in some ways is a shame as the ladies should have been longing and waiting for someone like Lattimore, who has enough talent to stand alongside the others. Guys I can testify that it will definitely set the mood right for a night of romance. So there is no excuse, everyone grab a copy and relax to one of the true gentlemen of modern soul. I won’t call this a timeless album, but is good? Kinda.