Should have voiced little Simba as well...,
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This review is from: Love Ambition (Audio CD)
...he has the charisma to pull it off as witnessed by his various television appearances before The Lion King and since. I know they went with big names for the casting and Johnathan Taylor Thomas was "hot" at the time and did a very good job with the voice. So I digress.
Jason Weaver handles this cd with a finesse and presentation beyond his years. If he didn't allude to his age a few times, one could almost forget he was not an adult when he recorded this. Not because he particularly SOUNDS grown, he just sings the songs with such passion and ease that you start to believe he knows what he's talking about. That's not easy to do considering the somewhat mature material, nothing vulgar but not what you'd expect to hear from a 15 year old, yet it's handled with taste. I'm sure being the son of singer/performer Kitty Haywood helped with that.
Great song selection. There is a definite MJ influence here which would be unavoidable coming off of "The Jacksons: An American Dream" and being under the wing of Motown, but it is not overkill. In fact it is slight but effective. Interestingly enough, it is most prevalent on "Ordinary Guy," one of the 2 songs The boys wrote, produced and lent their voices to. Not surprising knowing their connections to MJ. It's more vocal style than actual content though, Jason has his own style and incorporates other influences throughout. The songs have that classic 90s r&b feel. Stylistically it's slightly jazzy, sometimes smooth, other times modern (for the times) and a little rough but always to the point. Well written songs, superb background vocals, and top notch production makes it all come together nicely. The music creates a soothing, at times fun, almost therapeutic ambience.
My only compalint is that it could have been longer. It's even more bothersome knowing he never released another FULL album. I think Motown could have handled his career better but that is a discussion for another time and I'm not really trying to point fingers, I understand times change. With the talent Jason Weaver possesses (especially at such a tender age), it's a shame his career didn't blossom enough to match his talent. Still (and made all the more important by his absence from music over the years) this album is a must have. I would definitely recommend it.
All of the songs are fine tunes worthy of praise, but I'll mention a few:
LOVE AMBITION - a new classic jam, his most popular song
FOR THE LOVE OF YOU - Great take on the Isley classic
SO IN LOVE - Laidback groove
MY LOVE - Another smooth ballad, the other song "The Boys" lent their talent to.
I CAN'T STAND THE PAIN - With background vocals from Rahsaan Patterson how could I not mention just one more? Rahsaan ups the ante and Jason knocks it out of the park. His vocals are dead on and they complement each other well. Interestingly enough, Rahsaan also sings background on Love Ambition. Jason kills the vocals on that song. Keith Crouch produced, wrote and sang background on both songs (they were both singles), though he let R.P. shine on ICSTP.