Return of the Tender Lover by Babyface (Album of the Week)


Album: Return of the Tender Lover

Artist: Babyface

About: 9 songs; 42 minutes

Year: 2015

Choice: DJR Blogging

Dear Babyface – Good lord, man! What is the matter with you? Dan chose your new album, Return of the Tender Lover as our album of the week and I have been shaking my head in disbelief since. I have spent the last several days listening and I did a little fact checking. I read that you waited ten years to put out an album, and I can understand why. How is anyone going to feel good about themselves after having listened to this? Sure, I feel like I have a pretty good thing going on with my man, but compared to you? Forget it! For one thing, I don’t get the feeling that he is always on the verge of giving me a Standing Ovation every time I walk into the room. You wrote a whole song about it!

I suppose it helps that you do acknowledge that there are moments when you have had to fight for this exceptional love of yours, but that just goes to makes you even more amazing. You aren’t going to throw in the towel when things get rough. As you sing on Fight for Love, you’re making sure that your woman knows that there is no giving up.

Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Prince – I hear all of those guys in this album. What you have wrought with this new album is a time machine back to the days of smooth jazz and velvet voices. I want to be that cynical person who says bah! to your lines of sugar, but then I catch myself smiling foolishly as I dance in my chair when you and El DeBarge (!) sing about how just holding hands is akin to walking on air when you are with your boo. Just stop it!

As I write this and think about it, maybe I can’t chide you for putting this album out. Maybe it is your way to help the other dudes in this world who don’t have your mad romantic game. I think that what we have here is a perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Every man in a relationship should come up with an amazing lip-sync performance of one of these tracks. They then need to bring it out after sharing that candlelight dinner with their honey. I know that Dan could do an awesome job with Something Bout You. Who wouldn’t have a smiling swoon over something like that.

You are my favorite obsession.

Sometimes I can’t even see, no.

Because we got this connection, love.

Without you I just can’t even breathe, Lord.

Cause I adore you! Place no one above you.

I live my life for you.

I can’t help but love you, awww baby!

Unfortunately, Babyface, Dan did not quite warm to what you were selling, and I do not expect that scene to play out over my Valentine’s meal. In fact, he was a little harsh to you. According to him, your album reflects: No rhyme is too tortured, no metaphor is unwelcomed, no sentiment is too trite to be smeared over with honey and stuck into a smooth melody and shipped out. Your girl might need to give you some extra lovin if you go over and read his whole review. Ouch!

But for me, Babyface, you win. You have a pretty special thing going on with your lady, and thanks to my Exceptional sweetie, you brought some good old fashioned, goofy romance into my ears this week. I wouldn’t pick it up myself, I probably won’t come back to you, but it was a week I will remember.



Next Up: Hold My Beer by Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen

Hold my beer