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Fight for Love (Bonus Track Version)

Elliott Yamin

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Album Review

Part of Elliott Yamin's charm lies in how he doesn't seem to belong to his time. A disciple of Donny Hathaway (and to a lesser extent, Stevie Wonder), Yamin never felt comfortable in contemporary threads, whether it was during his time on American Idol or afterward, when he cut his eponymous first album in 2007. That record was perched between his classicism and flirtations with contemporary R&B, but its 2009 successor, Fight for Love, tips the scales decidedly in the favor of aggressive modern flavors, a shift perhaps tipped off by its combative title. Moving in this direction only makes sense — in order to make records, he has to sell records, and to do that he has to have songs that sound like the times. Yamin remains an ingratiating presence, possessed with a natural, almost accidental charm that's so endearing that it's hard not to wish that he was in warmer surroundings than these.

Customer Reviews

Yamin's contemporary sound on 'Fight' prevails

Continuing to prove that the fifth season of ‘American Idol’ is the most successful to date, Elliott Yamin offers up more slick, contemporary tracks and smooth, soulful vocals on his sophomore release ‘Fight For Love.’ Yamin kicks things off with a mellow ode to the idea that love has a mind of its own and should not be manipulated on “Let Love Be.” This traditional R&B track sets the stage for the underlying musical strand that threads the rest of the album’s songs together, no matter how much they may differ stylistically. One of the highlights of ‘Love’ is its title track and first single, “Fight For Love,” a verbal oath by Yamin to his love interest that incorporates synths in all the right places, which do not take away from his vocals. Yes, the lyrics may not be the most groundbreaking, but they fit the mood of the song. As for mid-tempo tracks, “You” is one of the standouts thanks to instrumentation that complements Yamin’s longing, wounded vocals that combine for an emotional result. There are a few production effects that could have been left in the recording studio to maintain a total sense of vulnerability, but they do not take too much away. There are also plenty of additional radio-friendly offerings to be found on the disc, including the up-tempo, rock-tinged “Know Better” and the major hit-in-waiting “Apart From Me,” either of which could serve as surefire single choices. “Apart” uses a hint too much auto-tuning, which Yamin does not even need, but somehow it still works in context with the rest of the song. Even “Can’t Keep Loving You” has potential to be a single, which is good news considering it is probably one of the album’s strongest tracks overall. The “ugly duckling,” if you will, on ‘Love’ is “Cold Heart,” as it sounds like it could have been used in a scene from ‘Grease’ had it been filmed in 2009 rather than 1978. This is not to say that it’s a weak selection, but it just does not fit as well among the rest of the album’s tracks. But Yamin’s vocals shine just the same and it shows his vocal versatility. As for the album’s weakest track, it fortunately comes near its end. “How Do I Know” sounds like it could have been delivered by 98° back in ‘98. Aside from the overall dated sound production-wise, the lyrics are as generic as possible and don’t do anything to show off Yamin’s skills as an artist. The sole true ballad to be found on ‘Love’ comes as the second-to-last offering, which is a little too late in the track listing. Still, “This Step Alone” brings forth meaningful lyrics and a sentimental tone. What helps “Alone” is its fusion of traditional ballad elements and a contemporary sound, which results in a powerful On “Don’t Be Afraid,” the lyrics are a little dry and overdone especially in R&B songs of yesterday, but the production is top-notch and sounds like something Diddy would have selected for himself. “Afraid” is a prime example of how much good production on an album counts, and by enlisting the talents of Midi Mafia, Stargate and Jermaine Dupri, Yamin made a great decision. “You Say” is dominated by both catchy choruses and verses, which can be a rarity nowadays, and although Yamin’s range is not challenged like it is on other songs, he is still able to manage a few inflections to make things interesting. In closing the album, Yamin delves into a very personal place on “Someday,” which is about his mother Claudette, whom passed away last year. The throwback soul sound with a taste of electric guitar and backing gospel vocals give the song a very hopeful feeling, which is reflected in the lyrics (“I know that I‘ll see you someday / oh someday I will see you again”). In only three years, Elliott Yamin has transformed from an unknown Richmond, Va. native into a contemporary R&B artist with a knack for picking material that has positive themes and meaningful lyrics, and ‘Fight For Love’ is no exception. In fact, it may very well be that this album is among the Top 10 to come from an ‘Idol’ alum to date, and hopefully the majority of fans of music will react the same way.

This album is a MUST HAVE!

WOW! Stellar sophomore release from Elliott! His 1st album was good, but this album blows his debut album out of the water! Plenty of R&B vibe, along with a contemporary pop blend. Stunningly rich vocals, as expected & delivered flawlessly. This album is an absolute MUST HAVE for any fan of R&B or pop! You will NOT be disappointed. Definately no sophomre jinx here!

Amazing vocals, amazing songs from the first track to last

Elliott Yamin is truly blessed with an amazing voice and it needs to be heard all over the world, this guy is so underrated and I think this album will put him on the map to let people know he is serious about staying in the game...The soul that comes out of this little white guys voice is crazy, a lot of the songs on the album could be hits on the radio right now... everyone REQUEST "Fight For Love" right now and lets take it to #1

Biography

Born: July 28, 1978 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Vocalist Elliott Yamin first gained recognition as the second runner-up on the fifth season of the reality show American Idol. Born in 1978 in Los Angeles to a painter father and former professional singer mother, Yamin eventually moved with his family to Richmond, VA, where he attended middle school and high school. Around the time he turned 14, Yamin's parents divorced, and thus began a period of some personal difficulty for the singer. Already close to 90 percent deaf in his right ear, Yamin was...
Full Bio