Internationally acclaimed song-writing producer, Greg Dean, released his new compilation album last Friday, featuring some of the most captivating and emerging voices in indie-soul music today. The result? An impressive music achievement that illustrates Dean's dynamic and versatile songwriting-production abilities that take stellar command of captivating vocals and harmonious melodies. "The Greg Dean Project" exemplifies the heart of urban soul music and does so with sophistication, suave, tenacity and maturity.
Dean's jazzy and soulful instrumentation masterfully flows throughout the album with the assistance of an all-star singer-songwriting cast. The entirety of his 12-track masterpiece is embraced by leading indie-soul names such as Eric Roberson, Gordon Chambers, Chester Gregory, Carol Riddick and Mykal Kilgore, as well as emerging singer-songwriters from the likes of Chantae Cann, Amber Iman, Jarrod Lawson, Aaron Marcellus and Natalie Weiss. The presence of these acts, and more, make for "The Greg Dean Project" to be one of the quintessential indie-soul/r&b albums of 2016.
As a native of South Africa, Greg Dean is best known for his work with under-the-radar and emerging acts in his own country, producing several albums within the South African market over the years. These songs, featuring local artists such as Kabomo, Brian Temba and Mabongi Mabaso, earned Dean top chart positioning across South Africa's radio music charts, as well as frequent placement in the region's emerging radio music scene that has lifted Dean's work to international praise.
Greg Dean's strategic arrangements on "The Greg Dean Project" demonstrates his ability to manage various music styles, and unique vocalization, to harness the music prowess of his artist collaborations. Dean's work with Eric Roberson on "Grass Ain't Greener" is an excellent example of how the producer's jazzy-esque mid-tempo groove can blend beautifully with Roberson's dynamic and soulful presence. Dean's production with rising stars, Natalie Weiss and Amber Iman, elicit a tranquil atmospheric melody in "Like Rain" that displays Dean's crafted music structure throughout his entire album. In Dean's "Unconditional Love," Jarrod Lawson and Chantae Cann muster a blend of soulful harmonies, with a mid-tempo one-two punch, that kicks off the album, enticing audiences to listen further.
Some of the more refined songs from this album is under Carol Riddick's, "Pitter Patter," Chester Gregory's "Keep on Lovin' You" and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Gordon Chamber's "That Would Be All." Dean and Riddick compose a lyrical gem that echoes the smooth hymns of Sade with a touch of Phyllis Hyman, seducing listeners on their journey into Dean's dominance in the genre. On Gregory's "Keep on Lovin' You," Dean presents another groovy production that allows listeners to snap their fingers, and nod their heads, until the track fades. Dean's exposure to Gordon Chamber's brilliance in "That Would Be All" showcases a beautiful composition rich in lyrical excellence and captivating vocals.
"The Greg Dean Project" is an essential collection to the contemporary indie-soul/r&b genre. Dean's mastery in this impressive songwriting-production, details his vision for expressive lyrics, compelling vocals and pictorial arrangements that seeks to redefine the meaning of urban soul. This album is a must listen for those seeking a fresh sound; while also, leaving room to embrace new listeners within this realm of urban soul music. This one is highly recommended and cannot be missed!
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