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Luke James [PA]

Luke James [Pa]


No R&B artist who released a debut album in 2014 paid dues like Luke James. The New Orleans native's past includes background singing for Tyrese, a fruitless stint on J Records, and composer credits on recordings by a list of artists that is, to say the least, varied -- from Charlie Wilson to Britney Spears, though Chris Brown's "Crawl" was most successful. Likewise, James himself is a vocalist with a number of approaches. He can coolly project with seemingly minimal effort one moment, then shift into a penetrating falsetto like he is wrenching every bit of emotion out of his body. His self-titled debut includes singles that date back to 2012, a run that began with "I Want You." The heart-rending ballad barely made Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart, but it was nominated for a Grammy -- quite possibly an indicator of his appeal. A handful of singles were subsequently issued through 2013, but none of them charted. (The deeply impassioned ballad "Make Love to Me" appears on the album's deluxe edition; none were included on the standard edition.) Frequently assisted by previous creative partner Danja, and also joined by the duo of Philip Constable and Dominic Gordon (aka the Alliance), among others, James delivers an impressive debut. His versatility is something of a curse, however, since the set comes across as a compilation of material made from a deep pool of choices. It ranges from throwback soul to mature pop, with sleek dancefloor grooves, quasi-trap backdrops, and pulsating ballads all part of the mix. James rightly keeps the featured appearances to a minimum, with only Rick Ross along for dramatic second single "Options." He puts his all into everything, like this is his one shot, and while nothing here sounds compromised, it doesn't sound like the purest possible set of material. It's a bit too exacting, perhaps. Here's hoping he'll get to make a second album with less commercial pressure. Very few 2010s newcomers have more talent than this man. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi

  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: --
  • Label: Island (Label)
  • UPC: 602537902439
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Track listings

  • 1. Love Xyz
  • 2. Dancing In The Dark
  • 3. Don't Do It (Interlude)
  • 4. Trouble
  • 5. Run, The
  • 6. Glass House
  • 7. Exit Wounds
  • 8. Time X (Interlude)
  • 9. Options
  • 10. Insane/Bombin' Out (Interlude)
  • 11. I Want You
  • 12. Expos‚
 
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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