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Album Review | R&B

Charlie Wilson, ‘Love, Charlie’

As so many young R&B singers try to out-freak each other, leave it to veteran Charlie Wilson to remind everyone of the simple power of eloquent lyrics and a confident, passionate delivery. The former lead singer of the Gap Band has overcome addiction and prostate cancer, so the opening “If I Believe” is an apt affirmation of transcending life’s travails. Wilson quickly settles into a series of artfully arranged and crisply executed love songs all sung with verve and a sly sexy swagger. “Think I’m in Love,” an ode to a dream woman, is an inspired updated take on street-corner soul. The 60-year-old singer has lost a bit of his golden tone but his range remains strong and his burnished vocals maintain a depth few others manage to muster. Most of the tracks are mid-tempo burners but when he turns the beat inside out on “My Baby” (Gap Band meets New Jack Swing meets 2013) he drops a small epiphany. As he sings, “That’s how you get it done.” (Out now) - KEN CAPOBIANCO


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