ERIC ROBERSON: The Collection (Label: Dome)

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ERIC ROBERSON: The Collection

New Jersey’s Eric Roberson (Erro, to his fans) was in the vanguard of the whole indie/neo/nu soul thing. But the man himself refuses to be categorized. He’s always seen himself as a soul singer with stories to tell and emotions to stir via his music and it’s for that reason that he steadfastly refused to sign deals with major labels who might have wanted to pigeon-hole him. So, Erro’s stuff came out on his own label, while he would also occasionally guest on other artists’ work if he felt his integrity wasn’t being compromised. Latterly Eric signed a deal with Dome (a label sympathetic to his ideas) and the result was the acclaimed ‘…Left’ album. Now, still with Dome, he’s agreed to make available some of the best cuts from his first four albums so that UK soul fans can catch up on the man’s back pages. What they’ll discover is a mature soul music a thousand miles away from the trite, teen R&B often peddled as soul Stateside. Signature sounds are the Jazzy Jeff collaboration ‘Rock With You’ and the loose, languid ‘Find The Way’ but it’s on the ballads that Eric’s real soul sensitivities are most apparent. ‘Just A Dream’ is an almost perfect quiet storm moment, while the autobiographical ‘Couldn’t Hear Me’ encapsulates the maturity we’ve just discussed. As a bonus there’s one brand new cut – ‘Head To Toe’, another superb, svelte ballad. So, if you’ve missed Erro over the past few years here’s a great opportunity to catch up on what you’ve missed.
(BB) 4/5