Recording information: 800 East Studios, Atlanta, GA; Kingston, Jamaica; Southside Studios, Nashville, TN; Studio 378, Atlanta, GA.
Photographer: Zach Wolfe.
Anthony David's third eOne release gets off to a rocky start. "Aspiracy Theory" is an inspirational anthem -- by the singer/songwriter's low-key standard, at least -- that incorporates a recording of the NASA crew's communication during rover Curiosity's landing on Mars. It's placed so high in the mix that it pierces the ears and nearly drowns out the singer. After that, Love Out Loud settles into a typically easygoing but expressive sequence of songs that makes for AD's best album since 2004's Acey Duecy. While its title song is all about embracing love ("It should be screamed from the highest mountain"), Love Out Loud regards being open and honest, whether positive or negative. On the upbeat, piano-driven "Can't Look Down" -- one of the album's highlights -- he's dealing with cold feet, while the mid- to late-'60s throwback "So Jaded" is laid out like a warning ("Tell you no lie, you might be wasting your time"). On the much brighter side, Algebra -- his co-star on the Top Ten R&B/Hip-Hop hit "4evermore" -- joins in on "Official," a sparkling number that has a spirit similar to that of certain late-'70s/early-'80s soft-soul duets, like Patrice Rushen and D.J. Rogers' "Givin' It Up Is Givin' Up." Moving up a couple years in references, the rollicking and off-the-cuff "On My Way to Crazy" comes close to slipping into a cover of DeBarge's "I Like It," while the moody closer "A Way for Me" must have been inspired by the Police. No shame in any of that. ~ Andy Kellman