The Howard Dukes Review

9/29/13 – Noted music journalist Howard Dukes recently published a very thorough and descriptive review of #reacquainted for Soultracks.com.  He is known for his honest and thought provoking analysis of today’s R&B scene.  You can read the review in it’s entirety below.  Also check out many of his other articles and reviews at Soultracks.com.

Track Listing Preview#reacquainted, the newest studio album from Will Preston, includes a song titled “Bring Back The Days.” This song is a sentimental look back at what he sees as a safer, simpler and more supportive time. The track includes all of the touch points – strict but loving parents and community members, youth able to play in safe neighborhoods and better music. In many ways, the good old days were never quite as good as we recalled.  However, in some ways they were better, and I guess, we all have sentimental spots for the days of our younger days. Besides, headlines about people spraying a park in Chicago with bullets and injuring a three-year old means something has changed because I don’t recall that happening when I was a kid.

“Bring Back The Days” is actually a pretty good record. Preston’s imagery is of kids running to the park after school while watched by community of adults creates a vivid and relatable picture. The cut sports a catchy hook, and it also tells the listener a little something about what Preston wants to accomplish on#reacquainted. As Preston sings in “Bring Back The Days,” he’d like for us to become reacquainted with the days when music inspired and the songs had meaning.

Preston’s goal with this album is to reacquaint listeners with the ideal of romance and relationship from the adult point a view. In that regard, Preston mines R&B’s deepest and most rewarding musical veins of honesty and vulnerability augmented by rich storytelling and good lyrics. While Preston employs contemporary hip-hop infused production techniques, he does not go overboard with them. Besides, the most rewarding tracks on #reacquainted rely heavily on the nourishing soul comfort food of jazz fused R&B and funk with rock flourish. Preston saves the absolute best for last with the sensual “Satisfied.” “Satisfied” is a song that features subtle jazz improvised piano work as Preston spins a story of a romantic evening with his lady.

Preston flips the script 180 degrees on “I Gave My All,” a song filled with the pain of seeing all of the efforts he put into a relationship go for naught. In searing and soaring vocals in which Preston rips the scab off of his pain, the vocalist tries to take some satisfaction from the realization that the relationship’s failure was not do to lack of effort on his part: “I don’t know to say/don’t know what else to do/I came up short once again/Put all my hopes in you/There’s nothing left to give/Nothing to gain in return/Just the emptiness of a broken heart/Another lesson I have learned/I gave my all/When I gave you my heart/But you disappeared right before my eyes/And tore it all apart.”

Romantic tunes and torch songs made up the bulk of the tracks on Preston’s 2005 album, It’s My Will.  On #reacquainted, Preston gives us something totally new with the cut “My Book.” This up-tempo number combines hip-hop swagger with rock infused funk in a track that finds Preston telling a lady how to discern the ABC’s of Will. 

SoulTrackers already know a lot about the type of R&B and soul music that is Preston’s stock and trade. Still, it never hurts to get reacquainted with quality. Thanks, Will Preston. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes