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"Don't Sleep...Just dream": Jarrard Anthony
by Mike Heyliger
Newcomer Jarrard Anthony’s music splits the
difference between beat-wise contemporary R&B
and the old-school sounds that are making a
comeback. Anthony’s supple voice is easily able to
navigate the collection of chilled-out jams and slow
grooves on his album “Don’t Sleep…Just Dream”.

As an R&B purist, it’s always nice to hear a
talented voice singing over real instruments with
no samples. Vocally, Anthony’s thick, creamy voice is quite reminiscent
of Chico DeBarge. The seductive “So D-Vine” is a particular triumph.
Stacking Anthony’s vocals on top of a gently rolling groove, it’s one of
those classy, classic slow jams. The gently thumping “Lovesick” is
another winner, with it’s stop-start arrangement and thick, layered
vocal arrangement.

“…Just Dream” alternates smartly between soothing midtempos and
ballads, with only “What’s Going Down” dipping a toe into the realm
of the “club banger”, and even that track is notable in it’s restraint.
The album reaches it’s peak with “Don’t Ever Question”. Although he
uses the question mark instead of the actual word “question” on the
album’s artwork (an obvious nod to Prince), the song is actually a
slammin’ Stevie Wonder-esque ballad featuring liberal doses of
acoustic guitar.

Jarrard Anthony is proof that there are talented R&B
singer/songwriters flying below the commercial radar. With a sound
that could very easily throw a scare into the likes of Donell Jones and
Joe, Anthony just might be the next big thing in contemporary R&B

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