Eric Roberson – The Box (Album Review)

What’s your favorite Eric Roberson album?  “Esoteric”? Music Fan First”? “Left”? Whatever it may be, prepare to have to revisit your rankings.  Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy the snippets and the 12 Days of The Box, chock full of sneak peeks into the production, creative process, and the team who all poured love talent and life into Eric Roberson’s latest album, entitled THE BOX.  His 12th release and 10th studio album, Erro continues to deliver his signature story-telling and imagery that is ultra-relatable to anyone at some point in their lives.  As a male fan of his music, I aver that he continues to be a cogent voice articulating the male perspective of the expression of love, relationships, and romance; and The Box is no exception.

If you are a true Eric Roberson fan you can attest to the musical transitions, experimentation and growth over the years.  Of course we all can identify our top 2 or 3 albums from Erro, but expect to have to rearrange your standings after you open The Box…  Teaming up with equally phenomenal song writers like long-time band members, co-writers and producers Aaron Hardin and Brett Baker; KING, Gretchen Parlato, Tracey Lee, Jeff Murrell and Terry Pointdexter, Eric’s packages honest music. Music that you buy not just because it’s the Grammy nominated, dynamic live show performer, fly guy and King of Indie Soul & RnB; but because the lyrics and music touches you indelibly.

The first single, “Mark on Me” was released back in June to eager fans around the world, giving a preview of what’s inside The Box, however even the title of the album kept fans speculating on what’s to come.  The album opens with “Lust for Love” which boasts a orchestral string arrangement as Eric welcomes you into the journey contained within songs of the album.  The essence of the album is the influence of hip hop on Erro (who’s avid head), and the deft alchemy of instrumentation, vocal talent and production; and of course Erro’s word play and playful “fill in the blank” antics.  Songs like “Just Imagine” featuring King paints the beautiful playful possibilities of a letting go for a day to fall in love highlight a relatable convo between lovers.  By the way, the song was co-written and produced by Paris Strother, who also is credited with all instrumentation.  The male celebration of a woman in the horn-laced songs, “Don’t Hide Your Wings”; “The Pill”, relating the struggle along path to maturity reflected with a hint of comedy, both songs bring lightness and feel good two-step vibe to the 12-song package.

Appearances by Dave Hollister, Robert Glasper, Laurin Talese, James “Pop” Roberson,  and rounding out the Hip Hop homage, Pharoahe Monch & Dwele on “The Cycle” with production by Aaron Hardin of Grooveworks Ent. & SlimKat78.  The Box delivers songs that are guaranteed to give you goose bumps either from the lyrics, the instrumentation or both!  So go ahead, open it up, and dive into The Box.  Be sure to come back at let is know what your favorites are, predict your Grammy nomination, and how the album fared in your list of favorite Erro albums. Also check for The Box Tour dates in a city near you HERE.

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