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Evolution of a Man

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Album Review

Brian McKnight's lone set of non-Christmas material for Warner Bros., 2006's Ten, peaked exactly where his previous six proper albums topped out (within the Top Five of Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop chart), yet he finds himself on E1 (formerly Koch) for Evolution of a Man. Though he has written and produced plenty of his own material in the past, he did it all on this one, and presumably provided much of its instrumentation. It's a set that is predominantly slow, sparse, and intimate. Most of the album's last two-thirds offers familiar McKnight fare — sensitive, soothing backdrops that are at least comforting when not uplifting. Earlier on, as well as in a couple instances deeper into the album, McKnight takes some risks with tracks that contain little more than pattering percussion and twinkling keyboards; here, the sonics are more memorable than the songs, and not much of the album as a whole holds up to repeated listening. Some of McKnight's devoted fanbase will find the album rather fascinating since it's a change of pace, more a collection of loose sketches than a highly polished set.


Born: 05 June 1969 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

One of the most consistent and versatile adult contemporary R&B artists, Brian McKnight placed seven albums across 15 years -- from the early '90s through the first decade of the 2000s -- within the Top Ten of Billboard's R&B albums chart. Whether he wrote and produced for himself or collaborated with the likes of Diddy, the Underdogs, and Tim & Bob, he enjoyed moderate commercial success without ever quite becoming a superstar. This, along with a down-to-earth personality and a catalog heavy on...
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Evolution of a Man, Brian McKnight
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