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Things in the Game Done Changed

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Album Review

Former Blackstreet member Dave Hollister has a problem all too common in R&B: finding songs half as memorable as his voice. But his third solo album — and his first for Motown — makes some progress in that quest, suggesting that a little Detroit magic might have rubbed off on this Chicago hustler. Despite its title, Things in the Game Done Changed doesn't mark any substantial shift in Hollister's formula: he still favors repetitive tunes rooted in gospel, substituting the ebb and flow of his powerful pipes for catchy hooks and melodies. It's an approach he shares with contemporaries like Gerald LeVert — but while LeVert has made a virtue of consistency, concentrating exclusively on the bedroom, a little variety serves Hollister better. Working with a variety of producers (including Tank, a younger kindred spirit), Hollister eschews the hip-hop collaborations that marked Ghetto Hymns, but a few rousing soul shouters on the order of "We Gonna Make It," plus a newfound optimism, give this collection a welcome spark, and make you appreciate his ability to spin the thread of a good idea into complex emotional tapestries like "Tonight" and the anguished "Tell Me Why." There's still no hit that would give Hollister the recognition his voice deserves, but he's finally made an album as rock-solid as his singing style.

Biography

Born: 17 August 1971 in Chicago, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Onetime R&B session vocalist Dave Hollister first appeared on the soundtrack of Boyz N the Hood, but got his big break as an original member of Teddy Riley's Blackstreet, performing on their 1994 debut album. He departed shortly thereafter to pursue a solo career, not only as a singer but also as a songwriter and producer. Hollister's first recorded effort as a solo act, the Erick Sermon/Redman collaboration "Weekend," was featured on the movie soundtrack The Ride and released as a single in...
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Things in the Game Done Changed, Dave Hollister
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