Editors’ Notes The best thing about Dwele has always been his music's loose, conversational tone. It’s gratifying to hear that his third album, Sketches of a Man, maintains his strengths as a performer: restraint, taste, and mood. At 20 songs, Sketches of a Man feels like a musical sketchbook, and its finest moments are often its most curious. “5 Dollar Mic” is nearly a cappella, layering Dwele’s voice over itself. “Open Your Eyes” is a cover of the Bobby Caldwell classic that somehow expands the fathomless vulnerability of the original. The hallmarks of Dwele’s art—bubbling, low-end kicks paired with free-floating jazz chords—can be found on “Free as a Bird,” “You Won’t Be Lonely," and “Vain.” His vocals here are set to a tone that doesn't demand, but suggests. The ambling nature of Dwele’s voice makes it a perfect complement to the measured low-end beats of “A Few Reasons (Truth Pt. 2)” and “Brandi,” both of which bring out the glimmer in Dwele’s voice. The centerpiece, however, is “I’m Cheatin’”: a smoothly insistent song about infidelity that ends up being an affirmation of monogamy.

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