Gerald Levert is not about to let any grass grow under is feet. His last album, G, was released in the spring of 2000 and rather than bask in the accolades this fusion of soul, hip hop and R&B brought, Levert slipped into a writing mode. Along with Edwin "Tony" Nicholas, a collaborator on the G CD, Mike City, another writer with gold in his pen, and a team of creative talents, Levert turned out all the material he needed for Gerald's World, his latest Elektra Entertainment release.
But don't confuse quickness with spotty quality. The 15 tracks on Gerald's World are emotionally charged, sincerely felt compositions that let the performer shine. Dripping with soul, tracks like the opening "Soul Mate," "Made To Love Ya" and "Got Love" are guaranteed to spice up any party. Levert, whose fans remember that he has a bloodline to the floodlights through his father Eddie, an original member of O'Jays, have seen Gerald avoid becoming trapped by his early influences. With each successive recording, Levert's own voice becomes stronger, and his ability to absorb old school and modern day influences is unparalleled.
Now in his mid-30s, Levert already has a lengthy resume in the recording industry. Two hits jumped off his first disk, Private Line, his debut album that was released a decade ago. The follow-up recording, Groove On (which included "I'd Give Anything," a hit single produced by David Foster) and Father & Son, a project filled with love for and with his dad, secured Gerald's position in the business.
Levert's consistent success has also paid off in terms of artistic control. Along with Merlin Bobb, Gerald Levert is listed as an executive producer on Gerald's World. Letting an artist produce himself can be dangerous, but Levert and Bobb avoid the common pitfall of over-focusing on the lead vocalist. Gerald's assured performances are bathed in an evolving set of lush yet detailed textures that highlight both the lead and background singers. The result is an album that should play well on both the street corner and the couch.
If you're one of his fans who likes to stay current with the work of Gerald Levert, it makes sense to check out Gerald's World in short order. If the past is any indication, chances are he's already working on his next release. Blessed with talent and determination, Gerald Levert is poised to remain at the top of the charts for years to come.