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Music Fan First (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Every R&B artist needs to listen to this album, Eric Roberson's fifth, and take notes. If all R&B was this whimsical, this creative, this grooving, this earnest, this textured, this diverse, the genre wouldn't be stuck in such an artistic rut. Music Fan First — such an apt title for the tireless "do it out of love" Roberson — is a sprawling effort that is every bit on the level of his previous album ...Left, which means that this is an album of importance in the R&B genre because so many of his contemporaries make music either pandering, broad, or deviant. The album begins with "Newness," one of Roberson's patented stories, this one of new love. He sings over what could be described as a synthed-out, hip-hop breakbeat, which is what sets this album apart from his previous efforts — there's some serious grime on the production of many of the songs. Roberson also sets himself apart from his peers with more storytelling on songs like "A Tale of Two" and "Still," whose Afro-cuban asides and melodic coda are the type of artistic riffs missing on virtually every R&B album you hear these days. These aren't bedtime stories; they're more cinematic, closer to hip-hop scripts. To end the album, he offers what is becoming a must for any singing artist born between 1970 and 1990: a Michael Jackson tribute. Roberson is a fan of music indeed, an appreciator of art and creativity, and this is on constant display throughout Music Fan First.


Born: Rahway, NJ

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

An independent neo-soul artist from Rahway, NJ, Eric Roberson was originally signed to Warner Bros., having released his single “The Moon” on the major label in 1994. An album was recorded for the label but it was never released, so Roberson returned to Howard University on a musical theater scholarship. After graduating, he came back to music in 2001 with the independently released album The Esoteric Movement. A year later he joined DJ Jazzy Jeff’s A Touch of Jazz production company, kicking off...
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Music Fan First (Bonus Track Version), Eric Roberson
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