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Dexter Kendrick’s Galaxy: I Want to Go to There.

October 6, 2010

Galaxy: A Memoir

I always get nervous when a friend asks me to listen to his or her music. What if I don’t like it? What if it is really bad? Do I be honest or be a friend? Is being honest being a friend? Are they ready for said honesty? Luckily, I don’t run into that problem very often. I seem to make friends with people who can sing. Dexter Kendrick is one of those people.

Now don’t get me wrong: I was nervous. Prior to getting the CD, I had never heard him sing. So, I put off listening to it. In fact, I have had it for almost a month and I just finally sat down last night and pressed play.

CD Baby describes Kendrick’s debut project, Galaxy: A Memoir, as psychedelic soul. Fair enough. I actually think it is a very good version of contemporary R&B (with great instrumentation; no over-synthed beats here). And I say that as a good thing. R&B is missing the next Carl Thomas, Jaheim, Case… R&B pays better than soul. R&B gets radio play. R&B gets noticed. R&B gets remixes and shit. I vote R&B. To be clear: Dexter Kendrick is a good singer. I think a lot of people classify R&B as populist music, but not necessarily bringing the quality as, say, a Rahsaan Patterson or Dwele. I disagree. I think good music is good music. A good singer is a good singer. Everyone I mentioned in this paragraph is a good singer. Are some (Patterson) better than others (Case)? Ummm, clearly. But at the end of the day, they are all good singers.

Kendrick falls on the upper end of the scale. His deep, rich voice is unapologetically silky-smooth as he deftly works his way through the album. From song to song, Kendrick touches on the great themes of life: love, politics, expectations, hopes, dreams, faith, all the while stirring your soul.

With his debut album, Dexter Kendrick has carved out his own place in the musical galaxy, giving both the accessibility of contemporary R&B and the organic strains of soul. His album is a nice escape for ay given time’s listening. I spent the afternoon with him and to be honest, if this is what Kendrick’s galaxy provides, to quote Tina Fey’s Liz Lemmon, I want to go to there. It’s peaceful and the aurally stimulating.

Listen to “Need Love,” track 6 off of the album. I like this one.

Need Love,” Dexter Kendrick

Before you go anywhere else, visit CD Baby and drop $10 on Dexter Kendrick’s Galaxy: A Memoir. You won’t regret it.

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