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Kevin Lyttle (Bonus Tracks)

Kevin Lyttle

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Album Review

The travel bureau of St. Vincent — the island soca singer Kevin Lyttle hails from — claims their paradise has "More Fun! More Flair! More Fantasy!" Same could be said of Kevin Lyttle's debut; just put a couple extra exclamation points after "Fantasy." Lyttle's breezy and dreamy voice supplies the flair, lilting lightly over a musical background that is as sparkling as it is limited. That's the biggest mistake the debut makes; it takes five tracks to get to anything that doesn't try to repeat the big hit single, "Turn Me On," and there's not enough variety to give the singer a full-fledged personality. His version of Terence Trent D'Arby's "Sign Your Name" is a welcome breather from all the seduction, as is the jazzy and semi-organic "So High." Wish there was more of it, but there's a great soundtrack to a perfect-weather, sensual vacation in here if you program the tracks right. "Turn Me On" is such a perfect grind jam it's no surprise the album tries to recapture it. It almost does with "Never Wanna Make U Cry," "I Got It," and "My Lady," but tracks like the Ricky Martin wannabe "Mama Mia" and the goes-nowhere "Ya Kiss" don't deserve their company. Luckily, 13 tracks means you can skip the filler and still be left with a decent amount of good material. Lyttle's been introduced as soca to the core, but his version is heavily influenced by pillow-talk R&B, and don't be surprised when he drops a dancehall riddim. This lovers-soca style doesn't feel forced on Lyttle by some record company executive; it really seems like it comes from his heart. Recording a song at a humble studio in St. Vincent, watching it take Europe and America by storm, and being crowned the new king of the bedroom must have been a whirlwind. Who can blame the singer for going with what he knows? A little less formula next time would be nice but Lyttle has a voice that can make paint and undergarments peel off, plus an instant classic with "Turn Me On." Not a bad start to a career — not bad at all.

Biography

Born: 14 September 1976 in Kingstown, St. Vincent

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Watching the local Calypsonians marching by from his mother's shoulders and then going home and watching Michael Jackson perform "Billie Jean" on television was an influential mix for the seven-year-old Kevin Lyttle, a mix that stuck with him. Soca was the predominant music in Lyttle's native island of St. Vincent, but it was the R&B ballad "Shower Me With Your Love" by Surface that was the first song Lyttle sang on-stage at the age of 14. With his family surviving on modest means, Lyttle worked...
Full bio
Kevin Lyttle (Bonus Tracks), Kevin Lyttle
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