Who Loves You?

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Kashif's credits includes chart-topping hits by Whitney Houston and Evelyn Champagne King as well as his own solo hits. On Who Loves You? his debut album for U.K. label Expansion Records, the singer/songwriter/keyboardist/producer pretty much sticks to the urban comtemporary sound he helped create in the '80s; though the grooves are tighter, he's grown vocally and there's a definite jazz vibe throughout (Wes Montgomery-ish guitar fills are sprinkled on almost every track) that's also influenced by hip-hop. "Step Into My World," a track from his 1989 LP Kashif, was embranced by the steppers. The instrumental "Brooklyn Dreams" seems tailor-made for stepping with its dusky vibe, solid, midtempo beat, floaty electric piano, jazzy guitar, and David Hart's harmonica fills à la Stevie Wonder. The same could be said for "Mingo Weya." "Bed You Down" chugs along like Kool & the Gang's "Ladies Night." Other standout tracks are "Good Ol' Days," the blues-tinged "I Don't Give a Damn," the ode for peace "Can We Just Get Along" (whose feel recalls Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" at times), the lush and kickin' "It's Alright," and "Rhythm of My Mind" (co-written and co-produced by Gary Taylor). It's good to hear that Kashif, who pioneered R&B-based all-synth music with King's "I'm in Love," has found his place in the 21st century.

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