Eric Benét

The One

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Throughout the 2010 album Lost in Time, Eric Benét referenced a number of '70s sources, from the Philly soul of the O'Jays to the disco of Cheryl Lynn. "Harriett Jones," the opening song on The One, takes it back another century -- well, if only for the chorus, a rewrite of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." Much of the inspiration behind The One remains in the '70s, however. On "Redbone Girl," he and Lil Wayne swerve into Anthony Hamilton's lane with a Southern organ-and-horns groove reminiscent of the Hi label. The lush arrangements and openhearted sincerity in some of the ballads, such as "Real Love" and "Runnin," recall the same decade. The same goes for the sophisticated funk of "Muzik," featuring (and co-written with) his daughter India. Ironically, the song with the classiest backdrop -- "Come Together" -- also has the frankest lyrics, as well as a panting conquest. While ballads like "Gonna Be My Girl" and "Lay It Down" sound closer to 2012 than 1972, and "Hope That It's You" sounds more like a guest appearance on a Shaggy album (rather than a Benét song featuring Shaggy), The One is another decent, retro-minded set from the veteran singer.

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