Faith Evans’ new album Something About Faith has dropped to much anticipation, as her “Faithfuls” (who are often staunchly supportive of Faith) have been looking forward to her return and for her to “change the game”.
While there is no game changing to be had from this album, it’s a return vocally of the Faith Evans that we’ve all grown to love, though her voice sounds tenuous and the surety in her vocals is lacking.
The one thing that immediately sounds familiar and comforting is track #1, which is an intro titled after the album, “Something About Faith (Intro)”. One of Evans’ strong suits has always been her penchant for strong interludes and transitions on her albums, and this sounds like the Faith of yore. The album segues into the midtempo “I Still”, which features Faith’s supple alto amongst a jazzy backdrop with an interesting tempo, where she shines.
Standout tracks on the album include the outside of the norm 4/4 time signature “Real Things”, which, while it’s very verbose, is a welcome departure from the normal pattern of R&B these days, “Right Here”, o another slow-burning midtempo joint that features Faith’s harmonies and riffs of old as well and sounds like it was plucked from the Faithfully album, “Sunshine”, which is a disco-laced dance cut, and lastly, the excellent song and standout cut of the album “Troubled World” which features BET’s Sunday Best runner-up Jessica Reedy and songstress Kelly Price.
In fact, “Troubled World” is actually the best cut on the album in my opinion, and that’s mostly due to the standout vocal of one Jessica Reedy, who thoroughly outshines all others on the song. Granted, Kelly and Faith hold their own, but Reedy’s voice is instantly grappling and you are drawn in because you want to hear how she finishes off the posse jam.
Largely, Faith’s album has to stand on the strength of the material selected. Cuts that include rappers such as Snoop Dogg (“Way You Move”) and Redman (“Party”) are instantly skip-worthy, but for the most part, all of the midtempos and ballads are listenable. Skip the Keyshia Cole assisted “Can’t Stay Away”, and sequence this album to your own liking.
Faith hasn’t lost a step in the vocal department thankfully, though one wonders how much stronger this album would be with a tighter track listing and a bit of more “classic” material. Faith’s voice, still as beautiful as ever, seems to be nervous and unsure throughout. Yes, she’s still a strong singer techinically, but something in the character and quality of her voice has changed. Maybe it’s the production and I’m being picky (probably), but it’s noticeable throughout.
Overall, Faith fans will most likely buy this album and cherry pick the songs they prefer. New fans may be drawn to the guest-cuts, unsure of Faith’s past catalog. In any case, it’s a solid album and you should definitely listen for yourself. One of the pillars of R&B voices is back, and I’m happy regardless!