Brian McKnight

Brian McKnight

From There to Here


Indulgent photos ahoy! They’re all here — the soft-focus sepia portraits, the moody walking shots, the cuddly “hugging my guitar” pictures. And From there to Here‘s art is indicative of the release as a whole. It’s the usual Greatest Hits fare — the big singles and a couple of new tracks to entice those who already own all the regular albums. One of the exclusive cuts, “Let Me Love You,” features the classic lyric, “Maybe just maybe/I want something more from you/Than to get some ass.” Poetic indeed. Actually, I have a problem with Brian’s lyrics, and (as is demonstrated by this release) he’s had ten years to fail at getting it right. Quite simply, his words sound forced — a shame considering that his voice is imbued with such ease and grace.

The biographical essay on the inner sleeve has to be the most gushing of endorsements I’ve ever read for any singer — David Nathan (self-professed “British Ambassador of Soul”) tells you that “If you are in possession of this wonderful CD, you know that, without any question, Brian McKnight sings. With soul, sensitivity, and always from the heart. As you listen to this sumptuous retrospective of his first ten years, you are hearing the work of one of the most talented contemporary music men to have come along in the past decade.” Hard to argue with that one — and yes, this is a comprehensive overview of Mr. McKnight. Side by side, though, the formulas of his genre begin to grate and the lyrical awkwardness becomes apparent. Brian McKnight can most definitely sing, and he can write hits, too, but he’s best enjoyed in doses small enough to preserve one’s appreciation of his skill. Too much and it all begins to seem bland.

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