Eric Roberson – Wind (2017)
Eric Roberson – Wind
For every heart-tugging, tear-inducing ode to relationships, there are just as many peeling back the curtains on the dark side of love: “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Woman to Woman,” “As We Lay,” and, of course, practically every drop of Beyonce’s Lemonade. It can be a struggle to put together, and damaging when it falls apart, so when a performer old enough to wear the battle scars of love can still wax rhapsodic about it all, taking you back to your first crush, rosy beginnings and the sugar-sweet promises of ‘happily ever after,’ you’ve got to embrace it. That’s what Eric Roberson conjures up, and delivers, in his latest EP, Wind.
The second in a trilogy of empowerment-themed releases (following his spring release, Earth), Roberson’s Wind certainly has a supple, soothing pace throughout, with lingering melodies that rise, fall and spin like a breeze. His compositions still pack substance within, idealizing love while examining and questioning its motives and contents. “Sky As Green,” for instance, finds Erro’s character acknowledging his own sharp edges and wondering if anyone will one day accept what he brings to the table: “Open up your mind, give me part of the time/open up your mind, just a little bit of love would be fine,” he croons over a foundation of horns and keys. “…I’m just searching for something that will last.”
“Love Her” is its flipside, a glib and upbeat tribute to the lady he loves, while his peeps wonder why — “I’m onstage and she’s steady complaining, when it’s sunny she acts like it’s raining/and I’m always the one to blame. Does she love me, that is the question/daytime is hell but nighttime is so heaven.” And for anyone who just knew that singer or that TV star was their future ‘boo thang,’ Eric has a song entitled “Claire,” singing the praises of “Cosby Show’s” beautiful and brilliant Mrs. Huxtable, searching as an adult for someone like her and yet, wondering if he’s overlooked a real-life woman just as special in the process.
Wind may be an EP, but that doesn’t mean the interludes (“Dream My Dreams About,” “My Heart Said”) and the project’s brevity detract from the quality; “Lyrics of Pleasure” is cool sensuality, as Erro name-drops time-tested soul grooves, layering his lovemaking techniques within. “If Only” draws from the Book of Stevie, style-wise, hoping that the lady who fills his dreams would fill his arms instead. Another ballad, “God In You,” feels like 1970s-era Heatwave, with Roberson’s velvety tenor and falsetto numerating the ways her love emboldens and inspires.
Like the force for which it is named, Eric Roberson’s Wind can bring the chill, turn up the heat or create a calming breeze. For those who’ve forgotten how love can be, Erro’s latest EP harnesses its power and presence. What could be more mighty than that? Highly Recommended.
By Melody Charles