Raymone Carter

Raymone Carter

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Raymone Carter was among the one-album wonders of the early '90s -- he recorded one album but wasn't heard from after that. And it's too bad that the vocalist didn't have a longer recording career, because he showed some potential on this self-titled debut album, an urban contemporary outing with both hip-hop and pop elements. This out-of-print CD, which was produced by the well-known Michael Omartian, is often mindful of hip-hop, but it is just as mindful of pop -- and considering Omartian's background, that isn't surprising. Omartian, after all, has worked with everyone from Donna Summer to Rod Stewart to Kenny Loggins. So when he produces an urban contemporary album and co-writes several of the songs, it is likely to have a lot of pop/crossover appeal; Carter's debut is no exception, and the singer's influences include Bobby Brown, Michael Jackson, Babyface, Jermaine Stewart, and Prince. Carter isn't as daring or adventurous as Prince -- few urban contemporary singers are -- but he does incorporate elements of Prince's Minneapolis sound. Although not a five-star masterpiece, this is a likable effort that deserved more attention than it received. But Carter's debut fell through the cracks, which is surprising given Omartian's track record -- one would expect a CD that Omartian produced and co-wrote several songs for to do better. Nonetheless, Carter's only Reprise release is worth obtaining you can track down a copy.

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