Chocolate Genius Inc.: Swansongs

Chocolate Genius Inc.
(One Little Indian)

Buy it at Amazon!

Chocolate Genius is one of those artists that’s hard to classify, and that’s probably how he likes it. AAR&B maybe? Heartland soul? One thing’s for sure, his voice is beautiful and incredibly soulful. I like it best on the minimal songs. “Sit & Spin” is just his voice and piano and its so powerful its almost like a hymn. “Like a Nurse” is a great slow, stately song that sounds like a collaboration between TV on the Radio and Leonard Cohen.

The more produced songs are too adult contemporary for my taste. “When I Lay You Down” sounds like the song they would play in the closing scene of some cheesy, inspirational movie. The gospel backing vocals honestly made me cringe a little. I much prefer “Lump.” This is the albums longest song and he spends it vulgarly telling someone off (probably himself) over an acoustic slow jam.

The conflict of this album is deciding if it wants to be adult contemporary or if it wants to be more indie-R&B. I much prefer the latter approach. In my opinion, the more mainstream songs are less likely to make an impact in the mainstream. Luckily Chocolate Genius is versatile and can probably adapt to most music situations.

A swan song is someone’s final song so I wonder if that means Chocolate Genius is retiring. It would be a bit of a shame because I’m curious what else he can do.

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