Sketches Of A Man can be either an album full of chilled background music or a classic for the ages... depending on who you talk to.
New fans unfamiliar with Dwele's laid back style may get drawn in by the buttery smooth vocals he's become known for, thanks to his previous three albums.
These vocals, along with chocolate-covered jazz tones meshed in the signature hand clap also made popular by J. Dilla are great for the first couple of songs but eventually tracks blend into one another as the listener's attention drifts into conversation, tv watching, sex, errant flies or anything else that may be happening in the room at the time.
The yawn-inducing element is not necessarily a bad thing... just not attention grabbing.
Hardcore Dwele fans who eagerly grabbed up his debut Rize back in the day are all over this set, loving the rawness of each track after the more mainstream stylings of popular offerings such as the Slum Village collabo "Tainted."
The fact that the album as a whole barely qualifies for the genre of R&B and leans more toward experimental jazz doesn't bother these fans. They see the whole picture through neo-soul tinted glasses in the sensuous "Love Ultra" and can forgive the Soundscan pandering of the radio-friendly "I'm Cheatin'." To fans, the Detroit crooner may not be the best vocalist but he can do no wrong as long as he keeps the fuzzy vibes coming.
So Dwele has been able to pull off a slightly difficult feat... please everybody. Unfortunately, while the twenty tracks are ultimately pleasant, you'll be hard-pressed to remember the majority of them when the CD stops spinning.
Download: "Love Ultra" "I'm Cheatin'"
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