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Sketches of a Man (Bonus Track Edition)

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iTunes Review

The best thing about Dwele has always been his music's loose, conversational tone. It’s gratifying to hear that his third album, Sketches of a Man, maintains his strengths as a performer: restraint, taste, and mood. At 20 songs, Sketches of a Man feels like a musical sketchbook, and its finest moments are often its most curious. “5 Dollar Mic” is nearly a cappella, layering Dwele’s voice over itself. “Open Your Eyes” is a cover of the Bobby Caldwell classic that somehow expands the fathomless vulnerability of the original. The hallmarks of Dwele’s art—bubbling, low-end kicks paired with free-floating jazz chords—can be found on “Free as a Bird,” “You Won’t Be Lonely," and “Vain.” His vocals here are set to a tone that doesn't demand, but suggests. The ambling nature of Dwele’s voice makes it a perfect complement to the measured low-end beats of “A Few Reasons (Truth Pt. 2)” and “Brandi,” both of which bring out the glimmer in Dwele’s voice. The centerpiece, however, is “I’m Cheatin’”: a smoothly insistent song about infidelity that ends up being an affirmation of monogamy.

Customer Reviews

Dwele-Sketches Of A Man

Sketches Of A Man, the third album from Dwele is his first as an indie artist. After leaving Virgin Records, Dwele is back having had two important guest spots with Kanye and Common. Free As A Bird: Light keys smoothly take you along, as Dwele’s light soul glides over. A relaxing and smooth starter, Dwele releases any tension he’s had with his previous label and let’s go. 3/5 Feels So Good: A solid midtempo here, Dwele harmonizes nicely with the rising brass notes. A real chilled midtempo, that shoes Dwele’s smooth light vocals, it works well. 3.5/5 Blow Your Mind: A brief interlude that has Dwele transitioning smoothly into the next track. 3/5 A Few Reasons (Truth Pt. 2): Nottz charming keys are likeable, while light drums keep things on pace. Dwele shows his appreciation for his lady that comes off completely convincing, as a light hearted soul loving his girl. 3.5/5 Open Your Eyes: A Bobby Caldwell cover works well, as it starts as a smooth ballad, beautifully sung. Before diving into percussion and bouncing keys that make this an excellent remake. 4.5/5 Workin On It: Another decent interlude that bridges to the next track. 3/5 Brandi: Slum Village guest on this lush, keyboard production that is similar in effect as “Free As A Bird”. The difference is the hip hop feel the duo of Slum bring to the track. Decent. 3/5 5 Dolla Mic: Once again another transition. Decent. 3/5 I’m Cheatin: G-1’s organ keys and light percussion, allow Dwele to express his feelings about an interesting relationship. A tricky storyline that is cleverly done, the track works well off of its smoothness. 3.5/5 You Won’t Be Lonely: Transition cut that is decent, over more active percussion. 3/5 Love Ultra: Similar to “I’m Cheatin” in terms of organ keys, it also features some interesting guitar slides and guitar strumming. A decent track here that works off the overall mood and not necessarily its lyrics. 3/5 Travelin Girl: Tapping hi hats and a simple drum beat mixed with brassy horns make for a nice production. Dwele speaks about various girls around the world. Decent. 3/5 If You Want To: Violin strings serenade nicely in the background amongst an uptempo drum beat. Dwele blends nicely with the beat, as it changes throughout drastically with great enjoyment. 4/5 Shady: Slower and smooth keys fill this tale of Dwele exploring shady issues with his lady. It's a decent clap rhythmed cut, that sticks to what Dwele does best. 3/5 70’s: Soulful croons of harmony create another transition cut. 3/5 Vain: Slowly rising brassy horns lightly accompany Dwele on this slow roller. Soft croons make for a relaxing listen. 3.5/5 Spiritual: Decent transition cut. 3/5 I’m Sorry (Wake The Musical Baby): Soulful piano lightly moves, as Dwele imagines he has a musical baby. His relationship with it and the track rises nicely, while going into different instruments later on to guide the ride. 4/5 Body Rock: Heavy production with intensifying hi hats and hard hitting bass/claps. Synths and heavy guitar join in as well, while Dwele finishes things on an energized note. An offering for the clubs or dancing, its decent. 3/5 I’m Cheatin Remix: Slum Village join on an already solid track. 3.5/5 Dwele’s third offering, Sketches Of A Man, is a solid album. Rarely seen in R&B today is an album that contains a theme or mood throughout. Dwele is one of the few R&B artists who strive for that, as the album goes for a smooth ride that is both relaxing and enjoyable. Never getting boring or dull, there are scatters of 1-2 minute interludes or transitions that connect each track together, which makes the album flow smoothly. There aren’t particular highlights, since the album is better taken as a whole. But the feel good “A Few Reasons (Truth Pt. 2)” is a sincere ode to his lady, while “Feels So Good” has a funky groove to it that is dance worthy. “Open Your Eyes” is a beautiful cover that is a light piano based ballad that eventually dips into percussion. “I’m Cheatin” and “Love Ultra” feature smooth organs, while “If You Want To” has rising and descending strings that accompany Dwele nicely and make it a highlight. The creative imagery on “I’m Sorry (Wake The Musical Baby)” make for an interesting story and solid arrangement, while “Body Rock” is one for the clubs to bump lightly and stick with new generation antics, yet staying true to Dwele style. The freedom to create music he wanted was evident here, as things are fully in his hands. The album overall is a relaxing and smooth ride that shows Dwele as an overlooked talent who remains low key, yet delivering solid music. Great album that should satisfy fans and possibly pick up others. Rating: 8 out of 10

How does he go unnoticed?!?!!?!

This man's musical talent is natural... and by far the best in the R&B genre of today!!! But yet... a few people actually cares about his music and worry more about Pleasure P or Usher... and while [[Usher]] is pretty good... his liveliness and drive of Dwele's music is more out there and indicates this true passionate love for music... 5 Stars for my bruh Dwele.... I'm already waiting for another CD

Blow Your Mind

Take note Dwele is back with Sketches Of A Man like Some Kinda & Subject Dwele latest is a sure- fire winner. For me Sketches Of A Man is his best. That's saying a lot. Simply put Subject & Some Kinda was the bomb! U other so-called male soul singers better take notice a new man is making a whole lot of soulful noise.


Born: February 14, 1978 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Adult contemporary R&B singer/songwriter/producer Dwele grew up on Detroit's west side, listening to soul music from Motown visionaries Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye as well as jazz on the radio. Born Andwele Gardner, he began writing songs at the age of ten, after his father was murdered outside his home, and attended Cody High in Detroit. Dwele spent a year studying music at Wayne State but then opted for an informal education, making music at his home while living in Dearborn and working for AAA....
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