The Box

by: Eric Roberson

After Mister Nice Guy, his lone release for eOne, Eric Roberson reverts to his Blue Erro Soul label for The Box, yet another satisfying clutch of mature R&B songs. Rare is the modern R&B artist who can stick to a traditional songwriting approach without sounding like a self-conscious throwback act, and Roberson fits the bill while remaining relaxed yet heartfelt throughout. Numerous songs, from uptempo shuffler "Don't Hide Your Wings" to the lingering ballad "Punch Drunk Love," stand out. Best of all is "Mark on Me," a swirling, slightly booming cut in which he's not too proud to confess, "I feel like Eddie did in Boomerang when she said, 'I'll call you.'" The guests here include Dave Hollister, Pharoahe Monch, Tracey Lee, and Roberson's father and kids, but it's the women of King who complement Roberson the most. On "Just Imagine," the trio add their impeccable harmonies, and the song drifts along and uplifts the spirit as if Roberson wrote it with them in mind. ~ Andy Kellman

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