Eric Benet

Posted in MusicWorld on October 31, 1999 by
When he set out to make an emotionally-charged album, Eric Benet didn't need to look far for inspiration: "As a songwriter, I just opened myself up to whatever came out of my heart. Most of the songs lyrically come from me slipping through old diaries and journals from over the years. I've got notebooks and things from years back. I would just flip through them, and something would inspire a lyric."

The intimate "That's Just My Way," the passionate "Why You Follow Me," the tender "Come As You Are," the vengeful "When You Think Of Me," along with "Loving Your Best Friend," contribute to the deeply textured emotional experience within A Day In the Life, his sophomore Warner. Bros. effort.

The main musical ingredient in A Day in the Life is classic R&B, with salsa, gospel, jazz and funk added to the mix. Eric co-wrote all 11 of the new tracks; the project's two covers are "Georgy Porgy," the Toto hit which now features guest vocals by Faith Evans, and the immortal '70s ballad "Dust In the Wind" from Kansas, now in a funkified interpretation. Eric co-produced and co-wrote the album with a dynamic group of collaborators, including Wyclef Jean, Ali Shaheed Muhammed (A Tribe Called Quest), Something For the People, Brian Morgan (SWV, Nicole), James Poyser & Vikter DuPlaix (Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill), Tamia, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, plus long-time partners Demonte Posey and cousin George Nash, Jr.

Nash and Eric's sister, Lisa, were members of his first band, Benet, in their hometown of Milwaukee. Their first album was released in 1992 and fared poorly in the commercial arena. The experience was a traumatic one for the young artist, and it made him "afraid to trust [his] heart' with the kind of music he wanted to create. But he conquered his fear and embarked down a solo path; his revealing 1996 debut album for Warner Bros. was titled True To Myself.

The critical accolades for True To Myself, along with the enthusiastic response from audiences throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, gave Eric the confidence to broaden the scope of his musical approaches within A Day in the Life.