Theodis Ealey

Stuck Between Rhythm & Blues

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With his third album, Theodis Ealey moves away from the blues and toward contemporary R&B. The change in direction is the most evident in the synthesized rhythms and instrumental backdrops that accompany the guitarist on about half of the album. For blues purists, the presence of synths sinks the value of the album immediately and, this time out, they would be right. It is possible to craft an interesting fusion of blues, synths, and R&B but neither the songs nor the execution fulfills the potential. Consequently, the album sounds directionless -- it only catches on fire when Ealey lays out on the barnstorming "Goody Sack," but by that point, most listeners will have given up on the album.

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