Georg Levin

Georg Levin

Can’t Hold Back

Sonar Kollektiv

It’s a bad day at Black Rock, a sad day in America, when some of the more interesting R&B starts coming out of Germany. But it is. Sure, there’s always been “blue-eyed soul,” but who wants to take Michael Bolton seriously? German-born Georg Levin, however, will not be discarded so easily. He can easily fit in with his neo-soul cohorts here in the States, and no one would be embarrassed by the association. Just like the D’Angelos and Badus of the world, Levin is fighting the quixotic battle of putting soul back into R&B. And tilting at windmills hasn’t sounded this good in awhile.

Unlike the neo-soulers’ efforts, Can’t Hold Back is not infected with hip-hop harshness. This album is pure Quiet Storm butter. Levin’s album is a smooth groove midnight ride full of soul and sensuality. The Dixon co-produced “(I Got) Somebody New” perfectly exemplifies Levin’s silky stylings; any Prince fan can appreciate the title cut; “Insider” has splashes of funk; and, “You Know What You Want But You Won’t Get It” is a genuine, infectious hit.

The man is reminiscent of Jamiroquai without the obvious Stevie fetish. It’s a nice, mellow effort that is pleasing to the ear and spirit and must be taken seriously — as should a lot of the music coming out of Germany. With Levin and Compost acts like Victor Davies, the Underwolves and Joseph Malik, German labels are trying, thankfully, to put a serious soul stamp back on the current R&B scene.

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