Kevin Michael

Kevin Michael

by Kevin MichaelKevin Michael

CD(German Import)

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With songs that could fit equally on pop radio as they could R&B (though there is little difference between the two by this point), young singer Kevin Michael Seward does his best Michael Jackson-meets-Prince-meets-Justin Timberlake (hardly a stretch) impression on his debut self-titled full-length. The results aren't wholly imaginative or unique, but Kevin Michael has a good enough voice, and a good enough production staff and group of writers behind him, to sound competent, even fun. As part of Downtown Records' -- home of genre-benders Gnarls Barkley -- Kevin Michael is clearly being marketed as the next big pop star, able to win the hearts of fans of all races and ages, and he may very well succeed. If this occurs, however, it will only be because of his ability to sound so much like his predecessors, and not because of anything new he's created. Which means, of course, based on the deserved success of both the Purple One and the King of Pop (and JT, to a lesser extent), there's some pretty fun stuff on Kevin Michael. The leadoff track and first single, "We All Want the Same Thing," which features a decent verse from crossover rapper Lupe Fiasco, is great, catchy and fun, mixing bluesy acoustic guitar with keys and soulful vocals. "All my gangsta friends, and all my skater friends/They all want the same thing," Seward sings, the cadence in his voice making it easy to believe that in fact he is familiar with both groups, that he's singing these lines from direct experience. "Stone Cold Killa," a pretty obvious nod to MJ, is smooth and upbeat, club-remix-ready without sounding forced, and "Ha Ha Ha," the sparse, sexual, R&B cut, comes across as somehow appropriate, unlike some of the other "love" songs, which were clearly created by older, more mature writers. But because Kevin Michael isn't quite able to carve out his own niche, despite his best attempts, the album also gets a bit repetitive and even corny at times, trying so hard to appeal to a diverse audience that it -- and by dint of that the artist -- loses a bit of its individuality. "Vicki Secrets," "Ghost," and "Love Letter" are all generic contemporary R&B tracks, indistinguishable from most of what else is out there, and the good bits can get lost between the production and falsettoed harmonies. Which is too bad, because Seward has talent, a talent that definitely appears on the album, and perhaps enough of it to put him where he and his label want. But until his vision of himself is a little stronger, he won't quite be able to separate himself from the crowd, and won't be able to break out quite as he'd like to.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/02/2007
Label: Imports
UPC: 0075678997747
catalogNumber: 943254
Rank: 179867

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kevin Michael   Primary Artist
Leon Pendarvis   Organ
Q-Tip   Guest Appearance
Garo Yellin   Cello
Paul Woodiel   Violin
Martha Mooke   Viola
Antoine Silverman   Violin
Wyclef Jean   Guest Appearance
Mike Hartnett   Guitar
Jack Daly   Bass
Claudette Ortiz   Vocals
Junius Bervine   Keyboards
Petter Winnberg   Horn
Henrik Jonback   Bass,Guitar
Maxim Moston   Violin
Sedeck Jean   Keyboards
Akil Dasan   Guest Appearance
Lupe Fiasco   Guest Appearance
Keith "Lil Wonda" Duplessis   Keyboards
Robert Taylor "R.T."   Guitar

Technical Credits

Weldon Irvine   Composer
Eric Hudson   Composer,Producer
Ken Joseph   Executive Producer,Management
Terry Lewis   Composer
Lester Mendez   Composer
James Phillips   Composer
Josh Deutsch   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
James Harris   Composer
Wyclef Jean   Composer,Producer
Peter "Ski" Schwartz   String Arrangements
Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis   Composer,Producer
Malik Taylor   Composer
Kamaal Fareed   Composer
Andrew Wyatt   Composer
Balewa Muhammad   Composer
Jean Baptiste   Composer
Henrik Jonback   Composer
Vincent Alexander   Engineer
Brian Kidd   Composer,Producer
Ezekiel Lewis   Composer
Candice Nelson   Composer
Lupe Fiasco   Composer
Zach Hancock   Engineer
Daniel Laporte   Engineer
Patrick "J Que" Smith   Composer
Brian Ranney   Package Production
Jordan Johnson   Composer
Chasity Nwagbara   Composer,Vocal Producer
Aimee Allen   Composer
Pontus Winnberg   Composer
Mike McHenry   Composer
Magnus Wallbert   Composer
Christian Karlsson   Composer
Shea Taylor   Composer
B. Powell   Composer
Jonathan Rotem   Composer
Balewa Muhammed   Composer
Kevin Seward   Composer

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