Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Something About Faith is the sixth studio album by American singer Faith Evans, to be released on Prolific Music Group on October 5, 2010 in the United States. Distributed by E1 Music, the album marks Evans' first independent release, following her departure from Bad Boy Records in 2003 and her subsequent but short-lived engagement with Capitol Records in 2005.
The project is said to involve production by Chucky Thompson, Mike City, and Salaam Remi,Starr Strukk among others and Evans collaborated with singer Keyshia Cole and rappers Redman and Snoop Dogg for the album. The album's first single, "Gone Already," was released in August 2010 and has so far managed to rise to number 28 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Gone Already" was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the 2011 Grammy Awards.
"Faith Evans is from the old school of soulful RnB; she could add a lilt and some beats to a takeaway menu and make it sound tender. It's a truly marvellous voice, so honeyed and magnetic - but that's the sort of damaging tenacity that leads a career down an alleyway.
Her albums are often hit and miss affairs, marked by her penchant for taking chances. It's more than a penchant; she's never been afraid of honesty, using a different tack each time to explore a new range of emotions. It worked best on 2001's Faithfully, which gave her a voice away from the ghetto, replaced firmly into the territory of gritty, raw emotion - through lively production and a mix between punch-packed neo-disco and sultrier, low-slunk ballads.
Mixing styles as default doesn't pay off on Something About Faith for two main reasons, the first being the amount of guest stars shoehorned in for credence. Raekwon, Kelly Price, Snoop Dogg, Redman and Keyshia Cole are just some of the names present, but too briefly and anonymously to merit their fees. And the second reason is the lyrical content - the album journeys through genres for fun, all the while forgetting to veer from its pedestrian substance.
Something About Faith is hugely varied in sound, perhaps a symbol of it being the first album Evans has released on an independent record label. But for each take, and each combination of producers, there's always another artist making more enticing sounds. Salaam Remi's "broken-bottle", reggae-tinged production on The Love In Me sounds weak compared with his work with Jazmine Sullivan, while the jazz and gospel tinges on Change and slow jam Right Here slip by unnoticed, loitering in the middle of the road.
Sure, Evans' vocals can leave ears trembling, but that's not shock enough. Something About Faith is an incredibly tame take on too many sounds, devoid of the personality that made her stand out. "Security, serenity, stability / The therapy, the memories, the unity / The loyalty, the honesty, the sanity / Familiar predictability," she lists on Real Things, which aims at personal and comes off faceless. It's lazy.
If the gloss is intended as escapism, it doesn't sound like she is having much fun. And at 16 tracks, Something About Faith is exceedingly filler-heavy. It's time this legendary singer's voice regained its personality." - BBC
"Whatever term you feel most comfortable using----skills, game, even je ne sais quoi--- Faith Evans is one of those performers who just, well, has it. Fifteen years have passed since she hit the music scene with her urban-edged honeyed soprano, lyrical prowess and a propensity to, intentionally or not, evoke drama on and off-stage. However, judging from her Grammy Award, millions in album sales and a NY Times best-selling autobiography, many can't resist picking up what she's putting down. So with the release of her fifth studio CD, Something About Faith, the 37-year-old performer rewards her fans for their loyalty with some of her most confident and compelling music yet.
Something..., in comparison to 2005's The First Lady, has three more full-length tracks and the most collaborative songs to be featured in one spot, thanks to the appearances of both evolving and established artists, such as Estelle, Raekwon, Lil Mo, Kelly Price, Keyshia Cole and Snoop Dogg (thankfully, not all at the same time). Producers like Malik Pendleton, Mike City, Chucky Thompson and Carvin and Ivan help with the heavy lifting, but Ms. Evans is in full creative control and pours her very essence into the music. Since she's one of those sangers (no, that's not a typo) who can belt out the fine print on a credit card statement and turn it into a Top Ten ringtone; the guests serve more as variety rather than support. The first collabo, "Way You Move," is pleasant, if too safe for its own good; but who knew that she and Keyshia Cole would complement one another as well as they do in the synth-driven, Slick Rick-interpolating "Can't Stay Away," or that she could be as grimy as Redman on the twitching and pulsating "Party"?
As expected, Faith's lovely and lilting range works best with the ballads, such as the extended opening intro and what could become an anthem for those looking at the front door, "Gone Already." Tenderly conveyed, but revealing a tough-love stance, the song lists a litany of shortcomings before Faith chucks the deuces and walks away for good: "I was feelin' like a dead man walkin', not from all the pain you're causin'/hoping that things would change, but you never gave me that option....this is not the way love should be, I guess you're not the man for me." Another intriguing cut is one that makes the listener wish she would explore her jazzy side more often, "Real Things," which has her celebrating the little intangible traits that keep her happy, rather than the status symbols: "....buying expensive gifts to substitute for what you feel, it's not really showing love/that's not what we're made of, spending the cash won't keep right, the real things in life."
Thanks to her status as hip-hop's most famous widow (in addition to the, er, recent brush with the law), it can be easy for folks to dismiss or forget the reasons that the Newark, NJ native became so famous to begin with. For those who need a reminder, or for the fans who've felt bereft of her vocal renderings since The First Lady and need to update the iPod, Faith Evans' fifth CD marks a welcome return and offers that special Something you've been waiting for. Highly Recommended." -SoulTracks
Billboard (p.36) - "Snoop Dogg joins Evans on 'Way You Move,' a playful song about the initial attraction between two people on the dancefloor..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Evans' lush, honey-toned delivery is an aural delight throughout..."
Recording information: Big H Studio, Baltimore, MD; Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; DML Recording Studios, East Orange, NJ; Hampton Studios, NJ; Homeskool Studio, New York, NY; Instrument Zoo, Miami, FL; Jasic Studio, Van Nuys, CA; KayTwo Studios, East Orange, NJ; Mad City Studios, CA; Serenity Sound, Hollywood, CA; SLS Studios, North Hollywood, CA; Studio 4, Conshahoken, PA; The Circle Studios, Hatboro, PA; The Hit Studio, Derwood, MD; The Ranch Studios, New York, NY; Triad Studio, Venice, CA; Wyeth Studios Marlton, NJ.
Photographer: Derek Blanks.
The First Lady was one of Faith Evans' strongest albums, not just creatively but commercially. It topped Billboard's R&B Albums chart, came within one spot of topping the Billboard 200, and won Evans a Soul Train award for best female R&B/soul album. It was her lone release for Capitol, and this, her fifth proper studio album, is her first for the independent E One label. Several past collaborators, including Chucky Thompson, Brad Todd, and Carvin & Ivan, are on-board, as are Mike City and Salaam Remi. The standouts include the disco throwback "Party," the Toni Braxton-worthy breakup ballad (albeit with heavier bottom) "Gone Already," and the midtempo boogie track "Sunshine" (which carries a subtle, smooth groove touch resembling that of Michael Wycoff's "Looking Up to You"). ~ Andy Kellman
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- Smooth Jazz Tribute to Faith Evans (Various Artists)