I guess the question that this short collection of music asks us is this….where next for the seemingly tried and tested format of contemporary R&B? And without deviating too far from the recognisable traits of the genre…smooth, beat driven soulful melodies…Fame still manages to find some interesting new places to explore.
For a genre normally associated with slick textured layers and a musically full sound, here he explores a more spacious, atmospheric style, with the likes of Friend Zone taking a staccato, almost dystopian route. Dystopian R&B…now there’s a genre we haven’t come across before.
Music in Your Life builds on this template pushing the beat into a more familiar, dance driven environment but it is the final song, I Want It All, that is the pay off, taking the disparate strands he has worked with so far and combining them into a late night, slow burning, nu-jazz meets R&B trip.
Although there are only three full songs here, the lyrics that take you on a short journey that wanders between club encounters, the ability of music to make you forget the grind of everyday life and heartfelt reflections on relationships, form a personal narrative which perfectly justifies the title of An Intimate Portrait.
Even the format shows some outside the box thinking with short spoken word sound bites linking the songs proper and again showing that if you thought that there were no new musical territories to conquer within the dance/soul/R&B world, Kenny Fame will make you think again.