Letters from Birmingham

Letters from Birmingham

by Ruben StuddardRuben Studdard

CD

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Overview

Letters from Birmingham, Ruben Studdard's fifth album -- and first for Shanachie, refuge of the veteran, major-label cast-off R&B artist -- isn't nearly as heavy as the historical Martin Luther King, Jr. missive its title references. The album traces the arc of a relationship, from love at first sight to "June 28th (I'm Single)," a throwback-contemporary hybrid where Studdard addresses his ex-wife and potential mates. Four brief "letter" interludes help guide the listener through the stages in the singer's relationship; without them, the album would still have a discernible linear flow. The stylistic transitions, however, are not as smooth. There's some Southern-friend funk, neo-Philly soul, alternately silky and churning adult contemporary R&B, a very slow cover of Bobby Brown's Babyface/L.A. Reid-penned "Rock Wit'cha" (featuring K. Michelle), and even a twinkling version of "Pure Imagination" (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory). There is almost enough shifting to fill a season's worth of American Idol performances, and it detracts from the fact that this clearly is Studdard's most personal set of songs to date. With the right push and some open-minded radio programming, two of these songs -- the Ne-Yo-worthy "Wear Me" and the Chrisette Michele-assisted "Do It Right" -- could be significant hits and debunk the notion that Studdard excels only with ballads.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/13/2012
Label: Shanachie
UPC: 0016351579720
catalogNumber: 5797
Rank: 113741

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ruben Studdard   Primary Artist
Donald Hayes   Saxophone
Patrick "Guitarboy" Hayes   Guitar
Joseph Williams   Bass
Siraaj "Encore" Aziz   Horn

Technical Credits

Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Anthony Newley   Composer
Daryl Simmons   Composer
Babyface   Composer
Harold Lilly   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Ruben Studdard   Composer
Patrick "Guitarboy" Hayes   Composer,Producer
Doramus Roberts   Composer,Producer
Elvis Williams   Composer
Burt Goldstein   Management
Elvis "Blac Elvis" Williams   Producer,Executive Producer
Mack Woodward   Engineer
Colette "CiCi" Coward   String Arrangements
Cedric Evans   Management
Carlton "Cool C" Mosley   grooming
Joseph Eugene Williams   Composer
Taryn Kaufman   Composer
Siraaj "Encore" Aziz   Composer

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