Warren Bailey turned out to be a one-album wonder -- that is, an artist who recorded only one album and never followed up with a second album. And it's regrettable that Bailey's first album was also his last, because he showed promise on this solid, if conventional, debut album from 1992. Bailey's self-titled CD is one of those R&B releases that has one foot in urban contemporary and the other in classic soul. The production is slick and high-tech, but Bailey's emotional, expressive, gospel-influenced belting indicates that he has spent a lot of time savoring the great soul music of the 1960s and 1970s. If you fancy the urban-by-way-of-soul approach that Luther Vandross, Freddie Jackson, Glenn Jones, and Alexander O'Neal were known for in the 1980s and 1990s, you can appreciate what Bailey is going for on "Turn Back the Hands of Time," "Repossessed Love," and other pleasing tracks. Bailey is essentially a soul man but, for the most part, the urban contemporary elements are prominent enough to keep his album from sounding terribly dated (by early-'90s standards, that is). That urban-meets-soul approach also works well on a hip-hop-minded remake of the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Unfortunately, this out of print CD received very little attention and was totally ignored by urban radio. But Bailey had potential. If the right A&R people had been in his corner -- and if his CD had been aggressively promoted by a major label -- he might very well have become better known.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson