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Wings to Walk This Road

John Stoddart

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Album Review

Slotting squarely into the inspirational smooth soul category, singer/songwriter/keyboardist Stoddart serves up a polished — arguably too polished — debut that takes few chances but should satisfy most listeners looking for quality music in that genre. He possesses a rich, soulful voice that is often heavily overdubbed to provide his own backing singers. Spiritually based, there are a few outright nods to religion (each track is preceded by a biblical passage in the booklet), but generally the lyrics of his songs concern love lost and longing for some sort of redemption. A little of this goes a long way though, and since there is seldom any changeup in the quiet storm tempos, the album outlasts its welcome as it pushes towards an hour of playing time. That could be fine if it's quality background music you need for an evening of candlelit romance, but anyone looking for great songs that succeed as standalone singles will be disappointed. Stoddart's keyboard talent is never allowed a chance to shine, as it's kept in the background, or just bubbling under the surface of this contemporary urban soul. Somewhat similar to Luther Vandross, James Ingram, and Donny Hathaway, Stoddart's songs and vocal presence aren't strong or unique enough to make him stand out of the crowd in the slick soul field. When he adds a bit of upbeat funk on "Everybody Talkin'," the mood perks up, and more of that would definitely help this quality but overly commercial first effort make a more substantial impression.

Wings to Walk This Road, John Stoddart
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  • 13,99 €
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Christian & Gospel
  • Released: 21 October 2003

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