Sunday, 22 February 2009

Michael B. Sutton - Hopeless Romantic - 2002 - Little Dizzy Records

Those who know their onions will already be aware of Mr. Sutton through his work on the Sam imprint with his wife, Brenda as well as his collaborations at Motown during the 70s with the likes of The Originals and Smokey Robinson to name but two. He returned to the fray in 2002 with this superior collection of quality modern soul gems. The CD blasts off with a very modern midtempo outing, laced with a Latin flavour and floaty, velvet vocals from Michael and some very able backing singers. Before I go on, I must say that although this set is independent in production it does not suffer from a lack of professionalism or quality – this is major material in that sense. Rest assured! Hot on its heels is the gorgeous ballad "If You Let Me Love You (The Second Time Around)" which allows Michael to deploy his sensuous vocals with pinpoint accuracy. One of three KILLERS, though is "Do That To Me" – perhaps one of the best ballads released during 2002. Atmospheric, sublime and canters along with a gentle rhythm and catchy hook. This is just a lovely song, it really is.

"Sweet Surrender" and "Flight" both have an early 90s quality feel to them and are very good indeed. I love the softness of the vocals and in my mind is a beautiful melodic contrast to the nasty, aggressive sharp beats employed by a myriad of today’s supposed R&B ‘stars’. The interlude is a very tasty teaser for the KILLER final cut, "Hopeless Romantic" which will have you feeling very sad indeed that the CD has come to an end. Tata Vega joins Michael on the Latin number, "Lover’s Serenade" and is jolly nice, too, but is nothing compared to the this killer cut and the song that made most airplay on quality radio…"Nobody". "Nobody" is pure class and ranked in my top 10 favourites of 2002. Imagine Isley Jasper Isley at their very best - think "I Can’t Get Over Losin’ You" and "Giving You Back The Love" and you are not a million miles from where this tune sits. This is quality soul music if ever I heard it, and readily available through CD baby and Amazon. An essential release, no more to say about it.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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