There is plenty of buzz about the current landscape of R&B and whether the genre is slowly fading out. We don’t even pay that kind of talk any mind, though. There are several artists flaming the fire that is R&B and keeping it alive. One of those artists is Kenyon Dixon, who not only fans the flame but keeps it burning bright on his album Closer.
Upon the album’s arrival, Kenyon declared that he delivered the kind of R&B people state they so dearly miss on his project. Anyone familiar with the GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter knows he aims to please, and on Closer Kenny leaves nothing to be desired.
Closer opens with “Marvin Gaye,” and its title should be an indication of what time it is. Kenyon sets the stage for soulful seduction as he sings, “So you should just relax and let me take my time / Is it okay if I take my time? / Show you how it feels when I connect to you.” He's singing about sexual healing, but he's also making it so the listener is prepared to sit back and let him take full control.
As we move into the track “ISLY,” the crooner lets his guard down when gushing about the unconditional love he holds for a certain special someone. The title is an acronym for the words "I still love you," but it wouldn't be too much of a reach to guess who he may also be singing about since he's naming songs after real people.
“Expectations (Interlude)” follows on the tracklist and sweeps us into euphoria as Kenny makes promises he can keep. “You just wait and see / It'll be everything / Highest heights we’ll reach,” he sings on the enticing interlude that segues smoothly into the sultry lead single “Love On Replay.” Kenyon and Tiffany Gouché pull us into pure bliss while flattering each other on the record. The pair doesn't hold back in expressing their deep affections in the song.
Our leading man continues his love trip on “Dream Of Me” where he tenderly wears his heart on his sleeve. In the outro of the song, we discover his hope for remaining in the dreams of his love even if they later find they may not be meant to be.
Kenyon picks the tempo up for a little "electric sliding" with Gwen Bunn who joins the R&B crusader on “WYTD.” Shorthand for "What You Tryna Do," he defaults to his partner to determine the fate of their budding relationship. Bunn slides through to assure him that his timing could not be more perfect.
Dixon briefly diverges from his love and relationship content on the album's second single, “Get High, Get By.” Rapper D Smoke joins him to vibe about their liquid and herbal remedies for dealing with life’s strains and struggles.- Advertisement -
We hear some commentary from Kenny on “Here Interlude,” which sets up the track “Here.” He admits that technology is cool and all, but there’s no greater feeling than being in the presence of the one you want on this duet with Susan Carol. The pair professes their desire for each other with the clever lyrics, “FaceTime’s a great time / Texting’s a blessing / But babe, I need a deeper connection.”
As the album comes to a close, Kenyon shares the interlude-length track “Always 203.” The song is short, sweet and gets straight to the point, as he discloses that his mind and heart are at odds. He knows exactly what and who he wants on the title track “Closer,” which ends the album much like it began on a very sexy note. In this instance, he sings of a forbidden affair. Despite the entanglement, Dixon makes it hard to turn away and gives us no choice but to submit to his charms.- Advertisement -
Closer is an excellent album from start to finish. Kenyon Dixon is at the top of his game lyrically, vocally and sonically. The album's central theme may be love and matters of the heart, but it's his love for R&B that rises above all.- Advertisement -