Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Wayne Williams (ex-Another Level): Album Sampler (Abbey Road Studios, 2001)

 I never cared much for boybands but with their covers of classics such as “Freak Me” and the bumpy soul of “Be Alone No More” with a then relatively unknown Jay-Z, Another Level managed to skirt the boundaries as being more of an R&B group as opposed to yet more masturbation fodder for hormonal teenage girls (yes I know all the girls loved Dane Bowers.) Looks aside, the group was not bad and by the turn of the millennium caught the attention of Clive Davis who told them it was his intention to make them “massive” in America. Shortly after the groups’ main driving force Wayne Williams left the group. Williams as the group’s musician, he wrote the songs that later became hits and without him, there was no group. Bowers cried “ego” but Williams had already been unhappy for some time about being pushed to the back while they brought the more photogenic Bowers to the front. They were both more than capable singers but eventually Bowers was the one chosen to do most of the lead parts because as he put it “it did sound better on that (particular) song.” Williams could’ve made it as a solo artist but it seems he was shortly blackballed. While Bowers was later signed to Arista as a solo artist, Williams first single “He Can’t Love You” was not talked about at all. I guess that’s what you get when you say no to Davis though Bowers was the next member to get shafted when his own solo album “Facing The Crowd” was shelved in 2001. Altogether a sad fate for two guys who probably should’ve done better.

Former Another Level star, Wayne Williams , sees the release of his debut solo album out later in the summer. The sound evoked on the sampler tips a wink to Wayne's transatlantic heroes, Bobby Brown, Jay-Z, Teddy Riley and Sisqo, without shaking off his distinctive West London edge. From the latin influenced " Had Enough" to the ballad-like "Woman Scorned", Wayne is defiantly solo and this shines through in the soulful vibe of current single "He Can't Love You".

 

He Can't Love You    3:48
Lonely    3:15
Had Enough    3:47
Woman Scorned    5:26
Mr Right    4:02