CD REVIEW: RayRay - "Cali Lovin"
By Gian F - 04/15/2005 - 11:02 PM EDT
Album: "Cali Lovin"
Sounds Like: Bryan Abrams
Technical Grade: 7
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8
Commercial Value: 8
Overall Talent Level: 8
Songwriting Skills: 8
Performance Skill: 8
Best Songs: My Girl, Music's So Spiritual, Smile Bigger, The Love Game, Shining Star
Weakness: Needs better lyrics/take more risks vocally
CD Review: Back in the day (1992 to be exact), before the explosion of gangsta rap, it was quite common to find suave, sensitive male vocalists crooning about the trials and tribulations of love. Those days are gone, but RayRay, a singer/songwriter from LA who has a hip-hop look and a smooth r&b sound, is attempting to bring them back with a vengeance.
With a full-length CD that showcases his sweet tenor voice, RayRay takes you through the ups and downs of love while maintaining a vulnerable, yet masculine edge that women appreciate. The songs "I Got So Much Love Inside," and "Smile Bigger" do well to help him in his bid to revive the romantic era, but his most complete and impressive (i.e. commercial) song is "My Girl," which gives us the opportunity to see what RayRay can do once he comes out of his vocal comfort zone. The song benefits from the use of layered female background vocals that add polish and distinction to the track; which are noticably absent on the others.
It's obvious that RayRay has been through a lot in his life, but it is not what has happened to him that's interesting, it's how he has responded to it. The autobiographical opening song, "I Wish" is well-placed, along with what should be the follow-up to "My Girl," the sing-a-longable, "Music's So Spiritual," which not only speaks to how RayRay feels about music, but emphasizes his mature, evolved perspective on life. Further evidence of his maturity is found on "Shining Star," which finds RayRay's child finishing out the final chorus in a genuinely touching father-to-daughter moment.
From what I can tell, as a person, RayRay has already succeeded in becoming a "Shining Star" and doesn't have much farther to go as a commercially successful vocalist.
Advice: You can improve the quality of your lyrics with the use of metaphors to broaden the appeal of your songs to a more sophisticated (i.e. older) audience. Your scores will improve dramatically once you do. Also, carefully monitor your CD duplication process, it doesn't play in all disc drives.
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