*Every so often, an artist reminds us of the purity of rhythm and blues, the honesty that emanates from the soul and spreads itself out over a long playing disc. Nearly three years after the release of his debut album, After My Time, Noel Gourdin is back with the release of Fresh: The Definition. This album is an extension of the music many of us, including Gourdin, grew up on and by definition alone that separates this album from much of what’s trendy in R&B today.

Riding the wave of the apologetic/empowering single “Beautiful”, Fresh is grassroots effort for Gourdin after an exit from major label Sony to having this album distributed independently, giving it a more organic and intimate appeal. This suite is based upon relationships, intimate relationships with women and music, each respectfully weaved through the songs, giving their lyrics depth. The grit in his voice on “Been a Long Time” and the Smokey falsetto that riffs through “Fresh (Brand New)” are odes to the soul men from classic eras. He masterfully uses his voice to emote the theme of each song, seamlessly transitioning through passionate songs about the pursuit, romance, breakup, and that moment in a relationship when you realize that you have something worth saving.

The beauty of Fresh is its songs in the key of life, its reality, the feeling that your life is being told by the artist. This is a long player made for the ladies, but real enough for the fellas. We have found ourselves living between the lines of “Change for You” when we meet someone that causes our world to revolve counter-clockwise. Or, we know that feeling of emptiness related on “Not Around”, when there’s separation from that woman. While the guy whose neighbors know his name has been dominating the airwaves for the past 18 months, Noel Gourdin’s name should be making its rounds through the neighborhood, because his music has begun speaking for itself.

About the Writer

Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find The World According to Teef. Plainfield, NJ native Al-Lateef Farmer is a self-styled social documentarian that tackles everything from politics to pop culture, Reality TV to relationships with a brand of social commentary rooted in independent thought that is unfiltered, uncensored, unforgiving, but never unreal! Take a trip to his world at http://worldaccording2teef.com/ or follow on Twitter @wrldacrdng2Teef