Did You Ever Wonder

Tad Robinson

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Did You Ever Wonder Review

by Hal Horowitz

Inspired by distinguished soul/R&B singers such as O.V. Wright, Z.Z. Hill, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Otis Clay (who provides backing vocals on two tracks), ex-Dave Specter vocalist Robinson turns in a spectacular performance on his third solo outing. Passionate and emotional, Robinson shifts from classy soul to relaxed blues and easygoing pop (he resurrects the Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose's chart hit "It's Too Late to Turn Back Now" with stunning results). The legendary Willie Henderson (Tyrone Davis, Jackie Wilson) arranged and conducted the horns, adding some authentic flavor. But it's Robinson's powerful voice and terrific songs (he co-wrote five tracks) that are responsible for this album's success. Like the best singers in his genre, the singer exudes a sure sense of dynamics, laying down a sexy groove like on the title track then exploding into screams and wails that propel the music forward. His version of Robert Ward's "Your Love Is Amazing" finds the gospel heart of the song while adding a pop feel. Kevin McKendree and Benjie Porecki's keyboards and longtime associate Alex Schultz's guitar color and mold the sound without stealing the spotlight. Whether testifying on Little Willie John's hit "Suffering With the Blues" or getting frisky on the funky horn-accented original "Pockets Full of Nothing," Robinson is totally at ease. He swings and shouts with the confidence of a star, but keeps the focus on the songs, not the performance. The sound and production are nearly perfect. Similar to Robert Cray, who traffics in a similar genre, the mix is clear and clean, but not slick. This wonderful album proves Tad Robinson has the pipes and talent to push him into the realm of Delbert McClinton and Curtis Salgado, two popular contemporary R&B singers who have found success with a comparable approach.

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