CDC Entertainment 2016
Old-school soul with a modern twist; an advent of force.
As an opening act for James Brown and Ray Charles, Cornell Carter was able to drink from the source of his chosen genre, but the young singer took his time when it came to shaping “In The Moment”: CC’s third – and first to be widely available – album. In preparation for the step up, Carter cameoed on a few records, including "Evolution" by Narada Michael Walden who makes an appearance on the luxurious cover of DELFONICS’ “Lala Means I Love You” which, together with “Zoom” from the COMMODORES repertoire, hitches Cornell’s superficially contemporary approach to traditional soul.
That’s why the tight R&B beats of opener “Beautiful” are nothing more than playful precursors to the much deeper emotions the artist displays on “My Folks” detailing a family get-together, or “Lady Of My Dreams” with its orchestral splashes, where CC unfolds the whole spectrum of his pipes. Those are put to a nice funky use in “When You Smile (Part Deux)” and “Bobblehead,” the latter pinning disco moves to velvet vocals and a glitterball call-and-response to places all across the USA and beyond, thus contrasting the warm intimacy of “Show Me.” Still, it’s “Where Do We Go” – spiked with Melecio Magdaluyo’s romantic sax – that taps into soul’s social facet to turn the album’s deceptive placidity on its head.
Perfectly seizing the moment, CC is emerging as a strong contender to the veterans and today’s stars alike.