is a rare occasion when an artist who is touted as "The
Next Big Thing" actually lives up to his or her billing.
Rare even when one surpasses expectations. So many factors
come into play over the failings of the fallen, but this much
is true-not everyone can measure up to the demanding pressures
that descend from the double edged sword of celebrity and
artistry. So it is with unmitigated joy unto the world that
Rahsaan Patterson, trumpeted as having a universe of promise,
has defied the odds with his second MCA album "Love In
Stereo", a stunning collection of twelve meticulously
crafted songs that daringly reach beyond the boundaries of
Find out what Essence
Magazine had to say about Rahsaan's new album.
In Stereo" touches on the joys and hardships that love
and relationships often bring. "Men and women are so
opposite that sometimes it's hard for us individually to see
what makes the other react the way he or she does," Patterson
reveals. Introspection continues with "Friend Of Mine"
and "It Ain't Love", two aching tales of betrayal
and love's seeming imbalance. One night stands sometimes become
a necessity, as the lyrics on "The Moment" reveal:
found my soulmate/And while I wait/It gets lonely sometimes/And
that'll make you do some crazy things". On the flip,
love's positive side is evident on the hopeful "Do You
Feel The Way I Do", the socio-gospel infused "The
Day", the healing poweers of musicon "Any Other
Love", the too-funky "Humor", and the full
swing, big band snap of "So Right". A final affirmation
of pleasure on the appropriately percolating "Get Here"
finds Patterson scatting joyfully with free-whelling abandon
at song's end.
The most important
song on the new album is "Treat You Like A Queen",
which addresses the dangers of physical and emotional abuse
directed at everyone. The video was simply shot at a house
in need of recontstruction. No dancers, no hot cars, no storylines,
save for Rahsaan singing throughout the houses shell as it
is symbolically being repaired. "I think most of us have
grown up in and around, or had our own abusive relationships.
So, my gift, to me, is not only singing and writing songs,
but sharing the knowledge that I've agained about myself,
about life in general, and about spirituality." To that
end, Patterson's artist royalties from the commercial sale
of the single will be donated to the Soul Survivors charity,
founded by Patterson to help rebuild inner city houses in
order to provide temporary shelter to abused women, runaway
children, and those in need of mental and physical medical
level, 'Love In Stereo' is about my existence in this industry,"
he concludes," It's always a battle. I'm just gateful
that whatever I go through in my clouded moments- and there
are brief moments-I always come out knowing that I can still
sing, I can still write, I can still gig somewhere. Nothing
that's on "Love In Stereo" is there because I didn't
want it to be, or because I wasn't involved from the birth
of it all the way to the end of it. That's how one gets the
best out of oneself, to be challenged, to be stimulated by
another force." With such stellar offerings found on
"Love In Stereo", it must be said that the force
was undoubtedly with Rahsaan Patterson.