16 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

Laying down some fretless-bass slapping and a hard-grooving drumbeat, “Don’t Stop” opens Brian McKnight’s 2013 album with more funk than most of the urban adult contemporary singer’s earlier recordings. But the slow-jam Jedi simmers down in the following “Letsomebodyluvu”; it has more in common with early-'80s yacht rock, right down to McKnight approximating some throaty Michael McDonald–inspired vocals. That extends into the similarly smooth "Get U 2 Stay," which sounds like it could've been penned for late-'70s Steely Dan. Even the sentimental and seductive title track moves with a slow, bellbottomed strut that’s punctuated by wah-wah-pedaled guitar leads and electric jazz piano that recalls moments from Bill Withers’ “Just the Two of Us.” But don’t think that all of More Than Words is rooted in retro styles. “4th of July” is glossy, contemporary R&B overflowing with neon production and amorous lyrics. “Nothing but a Thang” is another modern-sounding slow jam that lets McKnight layer his hot-buttered falsetto over it. The bonus track “Good Love” could’ve been a hit single.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Laying down some fretless-bass slapping and a hard-grooving drumbeat, “Don’t Stop” opens Brian McKnight’s 2013 album with more funk than most of the urban adult contemporary singer’s earlier recordings. But the slow-jam Jedi simmers down in the following “Letsomebodyluvu”; it has more in common with early-'80s yacht rock, right down to McKnight approximating some throaty Michael McDonald–inspired vocals. That extends into the similarly smooth "Get U 2 Stay," which sounds like it could've been penned for late-'70s Steely Dan. Even the sentimental and seductive title track moves with a slow, bellbottomed strut that’s punctuated by wah-wah-pedaled guitar leads and electric jazz piano that recalls moments from Bill Withers’ “Just the Two of Us.” But don’t think that all of More Than Words is rooted in retro styles. “4th of July” is glossy, contemporary R&B overflowing with neon production and amorous lyrics. “Nothing but a Thang” is another modern-sounding slow jam that lets McKnight layer his hot-buttered falsetto over it. The bonus track “Good Love” could’ve been a hit single.

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