CD REVIEW: Chris Hines - "Chris Hines Presents Master Mind"
By Gian F - 07/27/2009 - 12:59 PM EDT
Artist: Chris Hines
Album: Chris Hines Presents Master Mind
Sounds Like: Various
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Take My Time, Best Friend, Take It Slow, I Miss You, Swagga Talk
Weakness: Mixing & Mastering
From Detroit, via Howard University, comes producer Chris Hines and a bevy of talented singers that he presents in his ambitious Master Mind series. With production that caters to the individual strengths of each singer, Chris manages to showcase their collective talents while highlighting his own individual style and expertise.
Tracks like "Friday Night Flicks" by Theo, and "Never Change" by Broadway Miller, beautifully blend Hip-Hop and R&B elements to somehow create a pseudo, jazzy musical experience that you can bob your head to. "Swagga Talk" by City adds potency and street authenticity, and is the most commercially viable Rap track on the project.
Vocally, Anhayla turns in the most complete, if not noteworthy female performance on "I Miss You," a vocal driven track that demands a strong, consistent performance in order to be interesting and endearing. She pulls it off with finesse, conjuring up fleeting thoughts of Beyonce in the process. Charlie Star gets an honorable mention on "I Like It" with her strong, contemporary vocal style which adds personality to an avante garde musical production. Rachel Robinson makes a valuable contribution with her sultry and emotive performance on "Take It Slow," as does Ashaya on the radio ready friendly "Best Friend."
While this project hits the mark in many of the ways that are necessary to qualify it as a success (musically, vocally, and production wise), it takes the leap from good to great with the help of the immense talents of Brandon Hines. He turns in a smoldering performance on "Take My Time" which is not only the stand out single on this project, but one of the best male vocal performances on any project this year. Complemented by production that is every bit as captivating as it is erotic, this track is made for lovers and those who appreciate superlative R&B vocals.
With a project this deep and flavorful, Chris Hines has proven he has a Master Mind that the music industry needs to both embrace and celebrate.
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