Smooth Mario releases his first album on J Records. I guess all fans of r’n’b and soul will have heard of Mario from his well crafted and popular single ‘Let Me Love You’ that has been played endlessly at r’n’b clubs and on MTV. Groomed for big things Mario is touring with Destiny’s Child and is being managed by Beyonce Knowles father.
So what about the album? There are a lot of different people involved on the album from producers to writers. Mario is only 18 so it’s clear many see his talent and are
nurturing him for big things. He has an ideal voice for r’n’b. He performs with sensitivity, emotion and has a velvety sound that will appeal to young and old. He has a good range that he reaches with seemingly little effort. The influences on the album have the typical fusion of hip hop beats and nu soul that keep that Usher sound. Slow tracks like ‘How Could You’ captures that smooth groove for soul lovers and this could certainly be a single. There’s tracks that will appeal to dancehall lovers, sounds inspired for producers like Timbaland and even a rock inspired track ‘Here I Go Again’ that shows a daring attempt to stretch his market appeal similar to what Michael Jackson did with ‘Beat It’
‘Turning Point’ shows some diversity from a strictly r’n’b, soul album although that is the core of the album. Mario shows good vocal ability and sincere delivery. He is still young and hopefully will flourish to give more edge to his sound. In a competitive market place Mario has all the right backing and this album has mass market appeal, to see whether he will develop to the same status as Usher will depend on his attitude and direction. We shall wait and see.