Gerald Levert Do I Speak For the World
Vibe: 3 discs out of 5 - "Levert is still an R&B workhorse that most ponies in the love-song game can't keep up with."
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- Released: November 29, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Atlantic
Vibe - p.843 discs out of 5 - "Levert is still an R&B workhorse that most ponies in the love-song game can't keep up with."
- 1.Intro / Speak for the World
- 2.Cornel West / Tavis Smiley Interlude
- 3.Crucify Me
- 4.Greater Later
- 5.Show You How to Love (Interlude)
- 6.Lay You Down
- 8.Better to Talk It Out
- 9.It Was What It Was
- 10.Duty Calls
- 11.One Million Times
- 12.What Happened to the Lovin' - (featuring Eddie Levert / Trey Songz / The Levert Kids)
- 13.So What (If You Got a Baby)
- 14.Where Do We Go
- 15.Click a Glass
- 16.Do I Speak for the World (Outro)
Personnel: Gerald Levert (vocals, keyboards, percussion, background vocals); Gerald Levert; Darrell "Delite" Allamby (spoken vocals, various instruments, background vocals); Edwin "Tony" Nicholas (guitar, keyboards, percussion, drum programming); Tony Nicholas (guitar, keyboards, drum programming, sequencer); Randy Bowland, Rick Williams (guitar); Charlene Parker, Jr., Diane Monroe, Charlene Parker Jr., Olga Konopelsky, Gregory Teperman (violin); Peter Nocella (viola); Jennie Lorenzo (cello); Dwayne Moore (bass guitar); Eruc Byous, Eric Byous (drums); James Cornwell (percussion); Travis Milner (keyboard programming); Star Beatz (drum programming); Fred "Ljai" Robertson , Chantell Jones, Mike City, Chanell Jones (background vocals); Eddie Levert (vocals); Butch Bonner (guitar); Igor Szwec, Emma Kummrow (violin); Davis A. Barnett (viola); Niles McKinney (Wurlitzer organ); Troy Taylor (keyboards, programming, drum programming, background vocals); Gordon Chambers, A.G. Thomas (background vocals); Trey Songz, The Levert Kids.
Audio Mixers: Darrell "Delite" Allamby; Franny "Franchise" Graham; Ben Arrindell; Charles "Prince Charles" Alexander ; Andre Booth; Paul Osborn; Pete Tokar.
Recording information: Earpoint Studio, Bratenahl, OH; Ghetto Pop Music Studios, Dallas, TX; Quad Recording, New York, NY; The Studio, Philadelphia, PA; Unsung Studio, Sherman Oaks, CA.
Photographer: Christian Lantry.
Arranger: Gerald Isaac.
As a member of the O'Jays, Gerald Levert's father, Eddie, was no stranger to social commentary, often taking a break from their confectionery songs of love and loss to issue strong statements on the state of the world. With DO I SPEAK FOR THE WORLD, Gerald reveals similar inclinations. While his ninth album is certainly amply stocked with sweet songs of seduction, it opens with much sharp-tongued analysis of weighty manners, going so far as to invite scholar-commentators Cornel West and Tavis Smiley for their input on a poetic interlude.
On the inspirational, soul-searching opening track "Intro/Speak for the World," Levert supplies a wonderfully vulnerable take on a long list of issues on his mind, from the dangers around the world to his own moments of self-doubt. The striking "Crucify Me" follows, exposing a complex philosophy as Levert, a performer at the 2004 Democratic Convention, examines everything from school prayer to questionable wars. However, while Levert's heart is certainly poured into his political musings, his lover's notions are not ignored, as DO I SPEAK FOR THE WORLD contains plenty of tender, doleful ballads ("Better to Talk It Out") and hearty pleas ("Lay You Down"), providing a beautifully balanced record.
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