This Song Is for You

Ronald Isley

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This Song Is for You Review

by Andy Kellman

On his first album since 2010's Mr. I, Ronald Isley links with the eOne label and reconnects with Troy Taylor, one of the producers who worked on the Isley Brothers' 2006 album Baby Makin' Music. Taylor is involved with 11 of the 13 songs, most of which are relaxed contemporary ballads, solid and enjoyable but not all that memorable. Some of them either directly reference or evoke decades-old Isley Brothers hits, such as the "Between the Sheets" rewrite "Another Night," and the "Journey to Atlantis"-echoing "Make Love to Your Soul"; the latter is punctuated with Ernie Isley-inspired guitar work from Patrick Hayes. Taylor brings Trey Songz along for "Lay You Down," a lukewarm duet, but background vocalist Muhammad Ayers, who even sings some of the hooks, is heard enough to justify co-billing. Kem and Bryan Michael Cox drive the other two songs. "My Favorite Thing" is more like a Kem song featuring Isley -- who sings of social media interaction prior to proclaiming "got a brother waitin' by the phone" -- than the other way around. Cox, Johnta Austin, and Kendrick Dean cook up "Let's Be Alone," one of the album's more attention-grabbing productions, but Isley is a poor fit compared to Adonis Shropshire, whose vocal contribution is a better match.

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