Eugene Cole, that’s Gene-O to you and me, has made a name for himself through a string of smooth and seductive R&B releases, as well as from collaborating with the great and good of the scene, everyone from Tank and Monty Seward to Cal Harris Jr. and Darryl Williams. So to find him and Con Funk Shun man Felton Pilate in the same sonic orbit seems the most natural thing in the world.
Why Are You Holding Back? has a timeless quality to it, leaning into those core soul and R&B sounds so naturally that it would be hard to place it accurately on any musical timeline. Not to say that there is anything dated about the song, far from it, it is as smooth and sophisticated, well-crafted and elegantly produced as any song being made today.
But R&B knows what it is all about, it had its sound well-worked out a long time ago, a sound so seductive and sensational that it hardly needs much in the way of new influences to improve it. Any significant tinkering would be like putting pineapple on top of pizza! But let’s not go there.
It’s a fantastic single, as you would expect from such stalwarts of the scene, one that will please the traditionalists and pick up new fans in equal numbers. That’s how you do it!