Glenn Lewis sounds like he spent his entire childhood listening to Stevie Wonder records. The Canadian soul singer seems to have absorbed every inflection, every yelp, every melismatic murmur of the master, and he re-creates them in an elastic tenor eerily similar to that of the former 12-year-old genius. That's what constitutes the top line of the tracks on his debut album, World Outside My Window. The rest was written, produced, and performed by Andre Harris and Vidal Davis, the same team that brought you Jill Scott and did some work with Michael Jackson on Invincible for the same label on which Lewis appears. As they have done before, here they set up a series of burbling slow and mid-tempo musical patterns that have more to do with groove than with melody or traditional song structure. That works fine when you are only providing a musical bed for Jill Scott to sing and recite poetry over, but Lewis doesn't have that kind of verbal facility. His lyrical sentiments run more to traditional romantic matters, to which he doesn't have anything original to contribute. As a result, the songs mostly have to get by on the groove and on his Wonder impersonation. Occasionally, as on the delicate ballad "Something to See" or the near-vocalese number "Sorry," he distinguishes himself from his mentor enough to be interesting on his own, but one spends most of the time spent listening to this album waiting for something to happen. Lewis' career has been well set up, with an opening spot on an Alicia Keys' tour giving him significant exposure and strong early sales. But he needs to get more substance into his songwriting and move beyond the influence of his hero.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann