V – The Paradox Vol.1

the-paradoxFor those of you unfamiliar with Valvin Roane II aka ‘V’ here is a little background information: he first came to the attention of soul music lovers as the background singer for a certain Ms. Jill Scott, he then went on to release his debut album entitled The Revelation Is Now Televised in 2006. In between working with other musicians such as Ms. Scott, Musiq and Justin Timberlake he found time to create the follow up to his debut, The Paradox Vol.1, released this year.

I’ll be honest and say that I havn’t fully listened to his debut, however I am reliably informed that it is a true gem. The general consensus is that this follow up does not quite match the greatness of T.R.I.N.T. so i thought i would give it a listen without getting my hands on his debut first.

I am very pleased that I did. In my opinion the album is a must have for all soul/RnB lovers out there. AT 19 tracks, it may be a little long and 1 or 2 tracks could have been left out, however this does not detract from the album as a whole.

The album opens with the track T.R.I.N.T., a spoken word intro track that sets the scene for what is to follow … which is in short, a very eclectic, but well crafted album. In my opinion tracks 3-9 represent the strongest portion of the album, with highlights including the short, but oh so sweet Close Encounter, the sensual Outta Body, and a serious contender for that first dance song, Down The Isle.

By track 9 V switches things up a little bit and moves away from songs about love and relationships and on to social issues. What’s Still Going On carries on where Marvin Gaye left off with songs such as What’s Going On (as the title suggests, a key influence) and Inner City Blues. This is probably one of the highlights of the album for me.

The first single from the album is Rules Of The Game where he talks about the music industry and those who inhabit it. In my opinion it’s not a great choice for the first single as it does not give an accurate indication of what to expect on the remainder of the album, however that is a hard task for any of the songs as they are all so different. I do like the track, but i like others more.

The only track i dislike is The After Party. I do not think it accurately reflects V as an artist, it’s more of a club-orientated track that you would expect from one of the cookie cutter RnB stars out there (mentioning no names!), and lyrically falls short of the excellent writing on the other 18 songs.

If you love real RnB or soul then i urge you to check this guy out ASAP. As i write this i’m just about to track down his debut and give it a listen!

Thanks to ONUTSS for the heads up!

[NOTE: I would just like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to the staff of SoulCulture for giving me another platform for sharing my love for soul music … if you like what you see check out my blog!]


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