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Transitions

Freddie Jackson

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Album Review

With Transitions, Freddie Jackson makes another label jump, this time to Fort Lee, New Jersey's Orpheus imprint. Jackson's sound is not significantly different, but then, when you have a voice like his, it doesn't have to be. Jackson is one of the great urban balladeers and uptown soul singers of the era. He has a career track of strong singles, consistent albums, and a presence that is undeniable. He is a crooner whether the tune is a string-sodden love song such as the opener, "Until the End of Time," or a finger-popping mid-tempo groover like "Hold on Me." Jackson reveals on this album the depth of yearning in the grain of his voice. It's full of dreams and possibilities, heartbreak and desire. Check "How Can I" with its flamenco guitar opening, and the shapeshifting electric guitars that underscore every line. There's the dreamy "More Than Friends," where the influential traces of Marvin Gaye, Ronald Isley, and Al Jarreau all come together in Jackson's delivery. The strutting bedroom funk of "Superman" is one of those tracks where Jackson lays his vocal deep in the cut. The final cut is a stellar, and ingenious, medley of Delaney & Bonnie's "Superstar" and "Wind Beneath My Wings" as a closer. The added bonus on this set is a DVD that includes no less than 17 videos and is, essentially, a greatest hits. From "Rock Me Tonight" and "Nice & Slow" to "You Are My Lady" and "Don't Wanna Lose Your Love," plus more. This is a nice touch for an indie, and gives Jackson fans and newcomers plenty to sink their teeth into.

Biography

Born: 02 October 1956 in Harlem, New York, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

To urban contemporary listeners, Freddie Jackson was one of the biggest stars of the latter half of the '80s, dominating the R&B charts seemingly at will. Jackson's forte was sophisticated, romantic soul ballads aimed at adult audiences, but he was also capable of tackling urban contemporary dance fare and even the occasional jazz tune. Yet unlike many of his peers — Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Peabo Bryson, etc. — Jackson never managed to cross over to the pop charts, where none...
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Transitions, Freddie Jackson
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