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Ron Brown: From My Eyes Only

An accomplished veteran who has backed Natalie Cole and Anita Baker, among others, Ron Brown brings a graceful and soulful “texas tenor” voice to his solo outing, From My Eyes Only (Discovery 77060; 51:03). Brown brings gently wrought emotion to his ballads (he also plays a lithe soprano), marked by simple, hooky refrains, and a light-touch swagger to funkier tunes like “Cruisin,” with its cool horn harmonies and the pumping “It’s a Texas Thang.” However, his efforts are not enough to carry off typically drippy arrangements like a tinny Michael Jackson cover “You Are Not Alone,” or mask overused trappings like the thin keyboards on “Texas” and lame, slappy drum loop on “Why.” With more support behind him, Brown could have a distinctive voice and a welcome niche.

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