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Eric Benét | Features

SaveOurSoul fresh pick
Eric Benet

Eric Bénet is on top of the world these days. The R&B soul singer/songwriter/producer is sounding strong, romantic and full of joy on his aptly titled new effort, 'The One'.

They say home is where the heart is, and Eric returned to his Milwaukee, Wisconsin roots to record his Friday/Reprise/Warner Bros. Records CD 'Love & Life'. Collaborating with his longtime production partner Demonte Posey and writer/producer/cousin George Nash, Jr., Eric completely opened his heart and soul with this decidedly organic production, exercising complete creative control over for the first time in his career. Co-writing and producing eleven of the twelve tracks with his partners, "musically and creatively, it’s just as I envisioned it. I wanted to make a record that was a good feeling R&B record, and some of the best R&B for me growing up had a dash of gospel, a couple dashes of jazz. You could feel the social consciousness and you could feel where the artist was in their life. Whatever challenges, victories, blessings that I’m presently experiencing and the fruit of all that, are the songs that I write." Having fun through the entire process, Eric’s sustained motivation from experiencing love and living life can be heard skillfully weaved throughout every album track.

We fell in love with Eric Bénet on his 1999 debut 'True to Myself' featuring the Grammy nominated 'Spend My Life With You' along with hits including 'Femininity', 'Spiritual Thang' and 'Let's Stay Together'. We weathered the storm with him on his 2005 album 'Hurricane'. Now, 'Love & Life' reflects the Eric Bénet that feels confident and celebratory about his approach toward happy living. "There’s an energy and feeling that you get from the whole record. The journey is mine, but there’s no one who can’t relate."

The groovy, familiar first single, 'You’re the Only One' materialized from a good old fashioned jam session. As the piano laden backdrop meets the synthesized harmony of this soulful melody, Eric speaks of time being the determining factor of a love meant to be. Not necessarily propelled by overt innuendo - authenticity, emotion and passion have always been the driving forces in Eric’s creative process and unconditional love, whether familial or romantic, lays at its foundation.

Eric carefully staggers his sensual fascination and introspective admiration with women throughout 'Love & Life'. 'Chocolate Legs' is a telling homage to the power that a woman provides for her man by simply wrapping herself around him. Produced by Keith Crouch and Jubu, Eric speaks of the airy, slow jam as fun to sing. "One of the things that reminds me that God has my back is that real love connection with whoever is in my life. And if my woman is loving me unconditionally and giving her body, soul and spirit to me, it gives me this feeling like I can go and handle things another day."

Perhaps the most personal record on Love & Life is a mid-tempo, electronic number entitled 'Still I Believe.' As Eric carefully narrates being the villain and everything in between when it comes to love, "I’ve been the angel / Been the beast / I’ve been confused and had clarity," and with all of the extremities that transpire in relationships, hope and love still remain. "The odds are like one in a million that you’re going to find the right person at the right time in your life. In spite of the odds, I still believe that it’s possible."

Eric BenétSimilarly 'Love Patience Time' speaks of a familiar perseverance through the struggles of life. "Whatever fate deals you, stay focused, stay present and stay grateful. You’re going to receive all the blessings that you need to get to the place in life where you are happy longer and more often."

Much of Eric’s musical and personal motivation stems from his most important inspiration, his 16-year-old daughter India. "There are so many things that I’ve done where I was thinking let me do what’s best for her, and had she had not been there, I may have done taken the wrong path on many occasions. As a single parent, there was no other way than to keep it together for India". 'One More Tomorrow,' a moving ode to India’s birth, places 'Love & Life' in practical application. Written after witnessing her life come into existence, the proud papa decided to finally record the tribute. "It hit me like nothing ever hit me before where this feeling of if I didn’t know why I was born, I know now. This song says if I found out today that tomorrow was my last day, my daughter would be the person I want to spend that day with."

The retro dance jam 'Iminluvwichoo' reveals a light-hearted energy featuring Hungarian vocalist Linda Kiraly. The groove of the drums, coupled with the bass guitar, provide an 80’s feel that capsulates the kinetic connection of having fun in love. 'Don’t Let Go' is a love tribute decidedly for those couples who make it past the honeymoon period in their relationship. Influenced by early 90’s R&B in its sonic sensibilities, according to Eric, "there could be a life, a love and another level," if the relationship survives. On the flip side, 'The Hunger' aggressively speaks to the sexual, energetic part of a relationship. The melodic hand-claps emphasize the sensuality that Eric describes as "that physical attraction where you just can’t get enough of their essence, their body. I cannot be satiated, I just want more. That part where you can’t go home yet, the straight, raw hunger."

Diving even further into the seductive realm, 'Spanish Fly' is steeped with Latin rhythms and horns as the luring lyrics invite its young female listener to relax, relate and release. According to Eric, "this is just some ‘ol Latin pimp talk. Basically, I’m just coming from a pimp perspective of, why don’t you let me give this a try. Let me see if I can invite you back into the realm of carnal enjoyment."

It is abundantly clear through 'Love & Life' that Eric Bénet feels good, and it is magnifies from the inside out. As his journey to now continues to reflect the abundance he experiences, Eric wants his music to represent sheer honesty. "I want people to be able to discover some of the truths that I have and to feel the passion for life written between the lines and to just to put it pure and simply—to be moved by my music."

The One
Eric Benét - The One

01. Harriett Jones
02. News For You
03. Real Love
04. Runnin
05. Red Bone Girl featuring Lil Wayne
06. Waitin
07. Hope That It's You featuring Shaggy
08. Gonna Be My Girl
09. Come Together
10. Muzik featuring India Benét
11. Lay It Down
12. Here In My Arms (Lucia's Lullaby)

Lost In Time
Eric Benét - Lost In time

1. Never Want to Live Without You
2. Feel Good featuring Faith Evans
3. Sometimes I Cry
4. Always a Reason
5. Paid featuring Eddie Levert
6. Take It featuring Chrisette Michele
7. Stir It Up
8. Summer Love featuring India Benét
9. Lost in Time
10. Good Life featuring Ledisi
11. Something's Wrong

Love & Life
Eric Benét - Love & Life

01. Love Patience & Time
02. Hunger
03. You're the Only One
04. Don't Let Go
05. Everlove featuring Terry Dexter
06. Chocolate Legs
07. Weekend Girl
08. Iminluvwichoo duet with Linda Kirally
09. Spanish Fly
10. Still I Believe
11. Sing to Me
12. One More Tomorrow

Eric Benét - Huricane

01. Be Myself Again
02. Pretty Baby
03. Hurricane
04. Where Does The Love Go
05. My Prayer
06. Man Enough To Cry
07. I Know
08. India
09. Last Time
10. In The End
11. Making Love
12. Cracks Of My Broken Heart
13. I Wanna Be Loved
14. Still With You

A Day In The Life
Eric Benét - A Day In The Life

01. That's Just My Way
02. Georgie Porgie featuring Faith Evans
03. Spend My Life With You featuring Tamia
04. Something Real
05. Loving Your Best Friend
06. When You Think Of Me featuring Roy Ayers
07. Lamentation
08. Dust In The Wind
09. Why You Follow Me
10. Come As You Are
11. Love The Hurt Way
12. Ghetto Girl featuring Me'Shell Ndegeocello
13. Love Of My Own

True To Myself
Eric Benét - True To Myself

01. True To Myself
02. I'll Be There
03. If You Want Me To Stay
04. Let's Stay Together
05. Just Friends
06. Femininity
07. While You Where Here
08. Spiritual Thang
09. Chains
10. All In The Game
11. More Than Just A Girlfriend
12. What If We Was Cool
13. Let's Stay Together

Video for Real Love
Eric Benét Official website
Eric Benét Myspace site