October 4th, 2006
Title: Love Music…Falling In, Falling Out
Artist: Brandon Hines
Label: Heavyweight Entertainment
Catalog No.: 3710116608
Date: April 16, 2006
Maybe it wasn’t just mythology that spurred 60’s soul artists to travel cross-country to record in Detroit, Michigan’s. Soul music newcomer Brandon Hines makes you wonder if there really is something about that Ford Factory air. As a native of the nation’s “Motor City,” and as a former student at Washington, D.C.’s Howard University (winner of the Mr. Howard pageant, in fact), soul music newcomer Brandon Hines has some huge musical shoes to fill. On his debut, independent album, Love Music…Falling In, Falling Out, Hines proves that these shoes may have to stretch for him.
Currently working on a second album with acclaimed producer Troy Taylor (Tyrese, Ginuwine, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Trey Songz and others), Hines’ climb to his current position has been the stuff of fairytales. Legend has it that Hines began his musical career with a boy group, “The Bachalaz,” of limited hometown notoriety. After an unsuccessful try at American Idol, Hines returned to Detroit, where he joined the R&B group “Vybe.” The hometown-famous group had one single, “Tonite,” that got play on Detroit radio stations. When Hines left the group for college, he found the spirit of community that has long been characteristic of Howard University musicians (Al Johnson and Tom Fauntleroy of the Unifics, Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack, the 90’s R&B group Shai). Howard-grown Heavyweight Entertainment signed Hines and released his album in April of 2006. The group started a grassroots promotion campaign that made Hines a campus favorite and a familiar voice in the clubs of “Chocolate City.”
With Heavyweight, Hines developed a sound that blends the heart of soul, the rhythm of hip-hop, and (in many songs) the sincerity of gospel. While Hines’s voice is large enough to stretch over these genres, the real brilliance of the album is in its production, which joins Hines’s voice in a marital bliss.
In “Lipstick,” Hines’s high tenor two-steps with the heavy base line that is similar to the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” of Motown fame. Another relic of the Detroit sound is Hines’s sweet, Smokey Robinson-esque falsetto, which soars on songs like “We Need We” and “Here I Am.” Songs like “Overdose” fill every moment with unique harmonies that move with Hines in an electrifying call-and-response. But it’s Hines’s vocal dexterity that will separate him from competition. The album’s piece de resistance is “Where Did You Go?” Here, in the tradition of Detroit native Aretha Franklin, Hines proves that he can stretch one syllable over seemingly infinite space, making it dance and shout and weep along the way.
Yes, there is something special that stirs the wind of Detroit. It will be exciting to see where it eventually blows its son in soul, Brandon Hines.
Love Music…Falling in, Falling Out is available for purchase online.
Posted by Asha Layila French