Aaron Sledge – Aaron Sledge
3 stars out of 5 stars
Aaron Sledge – “2Nite”
Growing up in the church, there was always a fine line between sacred and secular music. Anything that sounds “too secular” is called “the devil’s music” but give it a few years and it becomes a gospel “standard”. “Precious Lord” by Thomas Dorsey and “You Brought the Sunshine” by The Clark Sisters were both deemed too secular for the House of God and now have become staples in the gospel music repertoire. The new millennium is bringing up a new crop of holy hip-hopers hoping to lead the club crowd to Christ. Aaron Sledge is one such singer.
On his self-titled debut, he tried to position himself somewhere in between Canton Jones and Tyrese, but this is met with varied results. “2nite” finds Aaron going for a late night booty call and the girl responds “you should look to the hills” *blank stare*. I cannot co-sign with those lyrics; as good as it sounds over the pulpit, it sounds like a joke coming out of the speakers.
I found myself having to pay close attention to songs like “Closer” which is sex-me-down-slow-in-Jesus-name worship music and “I’m Sorry” sounds like a gospel rewrite of Tyrese’s “Act Like That”. The bright spot for me is “City Called Heaven”, a churchy hymn about his home over yonder and allows him to get his “choir solo” on.
Genre-blending is more of an art than a science, and it’s an art that Aaron hasn’t yet mastered. While he has a great voice, it’s the choice of material that causes this album to suffer. Too much of it falls into a midtempo slush with little lyrical variation and by the time the album tries to redeem itself in the last 3 tracks, it is too late.
Aaron certainly has potential that hopefully will be fulfilled on subsequent albums. I heard a word that said “The latter shall be greater than the former”…I hope this is true for him.