Charlie Wilson ‘Love, Charlie' (RCA)
One of the music industry's most heartwarming comeback stories in recent memory triumphantly continues with “Love, Charlie,” Charlie Wilson's fourth album in the past eight years.
The Tulsa native just celebrated his 60th birthday but he affirms his status as one of the best crooners working today with the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated 2010 release “Just Charlie.” “Love, Charlie” recently debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart and No. 4 on the cross-genre Billboard 200 list.
The former GAP Band frontman penned all 12 tracks with a songwriting team including his wife, Mahin Wilson, so it's appropriate that “Love, Charlie” lives up to its amorous title.
Starry-eyed slow jams that spotlight Wilson's still-soaring tenor dominate the new album.
The shimmering “I Think I'm in Love” and the simmering “My Love Is All I Have” revel in the thrills of new romance, the heartfelt “Say” passionately ponders the life-altering power of true love, and the bubbly “Our Anniversary” celebrates an enduring relationship in style. And age is just a number; Wilson's seductive “Turn off the Lights” is straight-up sexy.
“Uncle Charlie,” as Wilson is affectionately known, has collaborated in the past few years with many top hip-hop and R&B stars.
This time, he and fellow R&B balladeer Keith Sweat put plenty of soul into the closer “Whisper.”
Wilson survived drug addiction, homelessness and prostate cancer to make his successful solo comeback, so when he croons of faith, hope and love on “If I Believe,” he does it with a fervor that boosts his voice to new heights.
Plus, with all the album's lovely emoting, it's even more fun to hear Wilson break out the funk with the booty-shaking jam “My Baby.”
— Brandy McDonnell