Thursday, 5 February 2009

TC - Finally - Koch

Terry Cummings – or T.C. as he now bills himself – is the latest NBA player to turn to music after the thrills, spills, highs, lows and tensions of the big courts. But Terry’s not just a fine singer – as this lengthy 17 tracker proves, he also has ambitions to be a media mogul, helming his own multi-tentacled Cummings Entertainment Group – and therein lies the problem with this album. Here, he’s the boss, and whereas when he played the coach would issue the instructions and game plans, Terry now does everything himself and no one, it seems, was brave enough to step in and offer constructive suggestions. Like I’ve just said TC has a fine voice – perfect for that modern R&B/soul feel, but with like a lot of self-produced/financed sets he would have done well to have asked for some advice from outside. For a start the albums far too long – in itself not a problem when there’s lots of variety to keep the attention. Here, though, much of the music’s stuck in one gear – slow. ‘Finally’ is stuffed with sensual ballads – each one fine by itself but after a dozen or so it becomes cloying. In fairness, Terry does try to vary things - a rap on ‘Take A Chance On Me’, big strings on ‘Butterflies’ , female voice on ‘One Last Tear’ – but there’s just too much. Even a chocoholic can only take so many coffee creams. The good news though is that when he breaks away from the slowies, the result is sensational. By now all modern soul people will know about ‘Marvin’s Vibe’ – already a big tune, it’s clearly this album’s highlight. It’s a homage to Marvin and seems to draw inspiration from ‘Mercy Mercy Me’ and ‘I Want You’, but it’s different to both. I tell you, you’ll love it. Pity TC couldn’t give us more – ‘cos soon he’s back to the balladry – and though there’s nothing wrong with the stuff, there’s just too much of it!

Bill Buckley

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