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Brian McKnight: Better

Album Notes

After the release of More Than Words, Brian McKnight established his own label, Brian McKnight Music, through the artist-friendly Kobalt Label Services, and went about making his third proper studio album outside the major-label system. Even more organic than what immediately preceded it, Better is filled with lively songs that are well crafted but don't seem the least bit fussed over. McKnight sounds like he's having as much fun as ever, gleefully flitting from falsetto disco-funk jams to lonesome, modern country-flavored ballads. It's all free and easy and allows for some whimsical moves, like the reggae backing on "Goodbye" and the tricky prog/pop-funk hybrid "Key 2 My Heart," the latter cut being where his love for Swedish trio Dirty Loops is most evident. There are occasional odd quirks, like the winking manner in which he slips "bitch" into the chorus of "Strut," and the way he throws a sharp curve, the tipsy newfound-love rocker "Just Enough," so early in the sequence. Several tracks do keep it simple and heartfelt, the qualities for which McKnight is most known, heard best on the humble title track, "Uh Oh Feeling," and "Like I Do." Mercifully, this material is a lot less erratic than the back cover typography (which displays McKnight's name as "B. McKnight," "B. Mcknight," "brian mcknight," "Brian McKnight," and "BRIAN MCKNIGHT"). ~ Andy Kellman


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