Mojo (Publisher) - p.1163 stars out of 5
- "[T]his is a very palatable collection of self-penned confessional songs..."
Personnel: Eric Ben‚t (vocals, bass voice, percussion); Eric Ben‚t (bass instrument); Dean Parks, Spanky Alford, Andy Duncan, Tim Pierce (guitar); Michael Landau (electric guitar); Lucia Micarelli (violin); Larry Corbett (cello); Norbert Stachel (saxophone); Frank Lacy, Jacques Schwarz-Bart (horns); Shannon Sanders (piano, organ, synthesizer, programming); Walter Afanasieff (keyboards, programming); Dave Foster , David Foster (keyboards); Pino Palladino (bass instrument); Anthony Johnson , Dan Needham (drums); Juan Patino (percussion); Emanuel Kiriakou, Jochem van der Saag (programming); Hod David (guitar, drums); Jef Lee Johnson, Randall Bowland (guitar); Chris Botti (trumpet); Demont‚ Posey (organ, keyboards); James Poyser (keyboards); Brian Frazier Moore, Vinnie Colaiuta (drums).
Audio Mixers: Hod David; Humberto Gatica; Andy Duncan; Patrick Woodward; Kevin "KD" Davis; Manny Marroquin; F. Reid Shippen; Juan Patino.
Recording information: Bowery Digital; Chalice Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Chartmaker Studios; Drew's Groove Studios, Nashville, TN; Eastman Scoring Stage, Burbank, CA; Hit Factory, New York, NY; Jade Studios; Jupiter Studios, Franklin, TN; Ocean Way Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Panic Room; Soundstage Studio, Nashville, TN; The Studio; Warner Bros. Sound Stage; Westlake Audio.
Arrangers: Walter Afanasieff; Dave Foster ; Van Dyke Parks; William Ross .
In the six years that passed after the release of 1999's A DAY IN THE LIFE, Eric Benet's very public marriage and painful breakup with Halle Berry ended up overshadowing the Milwaukee native's skills as a talented, soulful singer-songwriter. Not surprisingly, HURRICANE uses Benet's recent turmoil to fuel songs touching on the crooner's dark and troubled times. But rather than go down the more accusatory path of musical retribution (as the late Marvin Gaye did on 1978's HERE MY DEAR), Benet looks inward throughout these 14 cuts.
The tone is immediately set with the stripped-down, gospel-flavored opener "Be Myself Again," with its message of inner renewal, and producer Hod David's acoustic-guitar accompaniment adding a very Bill Withers-esque vibe to the proceedings. From here, Benet seeks redemption (the lush "My Prayer"), reveals his vulnerable side (a serene "Man Enough to Cry"), and yearns for love (slow jam "I Wanna Be Loved"). Most impressive is the ethereal "India," a song for the singer's daughter that tells of her inspiration amid dreamy pedal steel, deftly plucked acoustic guitar, and a muted Chris Botti trumpet solo.