An instant classic – and one
of the best new soul albums of the 21st Century so far – the debut of Valvin Roane II, aka V – a fresh talent from the wide side of the Philly scene! V's working here with production from Jazzy Jeff, Pete Smoovah, and Pete Kuzma, Jill Scott's bandleader – and the set has an amazing quality that more than lives up to it's classic-styled cover and title! V sings with a voice that would be great enough on its own – a church-schooled mode that's deeply soulful, and which hearkens back to 70s Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder – but with the added production from Jeff and the Petes, he really strides forward with a bold new sound – one
that's spacey one
minute, crispy the next – often laidback, yet never lazy in its approach to the music. And while it would be easy enough to label this one
as "classic soul" and leave it at that, V's also got a vibe that's richly his own – one
that really fits the unpretentious photo on the cover, and which is a refreshing change from overly-postured male soul (and that includes even the stuff that's pretending its not!) Titles include "Born Again", which features Jill Scott – plus "Confess", "Best Friend", "Picture This", "Still", "Who Would I Be", "Would U Be Mine", "Anotha Phase
", "Melody", and "Hey Pretty Baby".