Review of ...Left
In basketball they refer to it as being In the Zone; it's the point when a player is peaking, when the hoop seems the size of the Grand Canyon and he or she has the confidence that every shot will go in. Well, Eric Roberson in currently in the Zone as an artist, and is doing it on his own terms. More than a decade into his career, he's selling out shows in increasingly large venues and his four previous albums continue to be hot sellers at indie stores and at his shows. Most importantly though, with ...Left, his first "regular" studio album in a half decade, he shows he is at a creative peak.
One of the great attractions to a Roberson show is his presence; a natural, unpretentious leadership that engages the audience as integral participants in the event and makes it all work. It is difficult to channel that presence onto a studio album, but on ...Left Roberson pulls it off in a way only hinted at in his previous discs. In that respect, "Music" is the perfect opening cut, with Roberson providing an organic, conversational, story of his love for music over a mild Latin beat. It sets the tone for an album that is both engaging and comfortable with itself. Erro's lyrics have often been underrated, and they absolutely flow out on ...Left, revealing insights on relationships from the viewpoint of a 30-something year old man. Never is this perspective more poignant than on the extended reworking of his concert favorite, "Couldn't Hear Her," a lyrically stunning piece that describes the personal struggle and sacrifice concomitant with dedication to a musical (or other) career.
Musically, the disc has a number of high points, from the previously mentioned cuts to the excellent duet with Algebra ("ILUVU2MUCH"), the Stevie Wonder influenced "Open Your Eyes," and the fun tribute to a pregnant woman, "The Baby Song." Particularly enjoyable is his collaboration with the H2O production team (Mark & Nicole Hamilton) on "Too Soon," the kind of irresistible midtempo track that Charlie Wilson would kill for.
...Left has certainly been highly anticipated by Erro's legion of fans, but maybe even more by an independent soul music community looking for a few breakout releases in '07. So it is especially pleasing that Roberson creatively meets the heavy expectations, delivering his best album ever and undoubtedly one of the finest discs Soul Music fans will hear this year. Very highly recommended
by Chris Rizik
Chris Rizik, Publisher
America's #1 Soul Music Website
Instant genius from the mighty Eric Roberson -- easily one of the greatest soul singers we've ever heard -- and that's saying a lot, given how many records we've listened to over the years! Eric's one of the few artists who can bring a smile to our face from the very first note of a new album -- and this set's got us smiling all the way through -- sharing Eric's tremendous sense of joy and love in his music, and further marveling at his growing talent as a songwriting over the years. Roberson's voice is enough to make a tune great -- but his lyrics here are especially great, personal themes and topics that come off with a real sense of poetry that few other singers can match. Eric's way ahead of the pack here -- setting a new standard for the male voice in soul music, yet also firmly placing himself amidst a strong lineage from the classic years. Why this guy isn't a superstar is beyond us -- but honestly, we're loving him at this level -- because it means that Eric is as upfront and close as his music! Titles include "Music", "Evening", "Been In Love", "Iluvu2much", "Only For You", "Too Soon", "Pretty Girl", "If I Had A Chance", and "The Baby Song"....Dusty Groove America