Take Maxwell and D’Angelo, cross them with Jon. B and add a sprinkle of the Bee Gees and you have Remy Shand, Motown’s newest addition to the neo-soul movement that has stampeded its way through the market faster than Jill Scott in a line at Ponderosa.

Paul Wong
two and a half stars

The only difference between Winnipeg-native Shand and all of the other popular artists cut from his cloth is the fact that he is “pigmentationally challenged.” Don’t let his white boy status deter you, though … the guy’s got some blow to him. His old school influences leak out into his vocals and his music. In addition, he is already five steps ahead of the game because, much like D’Angelo, he writes, composes and performs all his own music. Brownie points for that.

The Way I Feel sounds somewhat like the poor man’s substitute for Urban Hang Suite from Maxwell. The music contains that nice, jazzy, coffee house ambiance – background music ideal for discussions of progression of blacks and embittered feminism. Check for the high pitched kick on “Burning Bridges.”

The title track is a sweet up-tempo joint that should keep radio listeners scratching their heads wondering who the newest “neo-soul” voice is. “The Mind’s Eye” is the best track on the album, bringing it to a close with a mood-setting instrumental medley.

Remy Shand’s album is not spectacular or groundbreaking in any sense, other than the fact that there it is a gentleman of the Caucasian persuasion behind the music. No joints on the album will yield greatness, but if you are all about “neo-soul,” then you definitely wont be disappointed.

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