Alive and Well
Label: eOne Music
When Musiq Soulchild sings, his voice tends to follow the melodies like piano keys, rising and lowering as if he were following the scales. It’s a technique reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, but he tends to rely on it too much, resulting in songs that blend into one another. Perhaps that’s why he occasionally shifts gears on Life on Earth, from swaggering with a half-shouting voice on “Wait a Minute,” to crooning in a flat tone like Drake on “Loving You.” Rapsody offers a guest verse over the hip-hop drum beats of “Far Gone,” and “Alive and Well” has a smooth jazz sweet spot. Musiq Soulchild adds enough variety so that when he returns to his familiar harmonic tones on the title track and “I Do,” it sounds rewarding.