Kevin Lyttle

Amazon, presumably in keeping with the principal theme of this album have listed the ninth track here, Ya Kiss, as the more excitingly-titled Ya Ass, which gives the impression that Sir Mixalot, whose entrance on record was occasionally called with, "Invasion of the rump-snatcher", has accidentally wandered onto someone else's album. On listening to the album, the opening lyrics of the song unsurprisingly stick to the kissing theme but, having still been under the impression that the song was called Ya Ass, a song about rimming looked to have come from far outside the leftfield.

Once it becomes apparent that the song is Ya Kiss, there's a touch of disappointment about the album but a sweet pop/R&B track about kissing is in keeping with the rest of Kevin Lyttle's eponymous debut album, as is his cover of Terence Trent D'Arby's Sign Your Name, which was already a sugary ballad but which is made, if it was possible, even more saccharine here.

From the eager-to-please shots of Kevin Lyttle on both the cover and inside the CD booklet, he's like no one as much as the kid in an all-boys school determined to attend dancing class but who is so terribly nice as to avoid trouble. No matter how hard the smack, Lyttle looks as though he'd keep on smiling and the toss of his hat a la 007 is as cheesy as the wearing of mirrored sunglasses on the cover of a rock album.

Despite his best efforts, Lyttle doesn't convince when singing the more explicit material, as though the words were written by another to which his pure vocal style is ill-suited. That's not to say there aren't good songs on the album - the innocent, blue-eyed pop/soul of Never Wanna Make You Cry, I Got It and So High are the three outstanding songs - but as the majority of the songs allow mention of what Lyttle's set on doing to his lady to creep into the lyrics, Lyttle often sounds uneasy. Therefore, songs like Dancing Like Making Love, Turn Me On, Screaming Out My Name, My Lady and Last Drop sound like they've been included only because they ought to be included.

In particular, Mama Mia is an odd song, with the impression being given, most through the credits and Lyttle's generally harmless style, that it's been recorded for his mother. If that's the case, Lyttle has a particularly close, if not creepy, relationship with her given that he opens the song with the chant of, "Work that booty in the club" and, "If I tell you baby what I wanna do to you / You might not believe me girl but it is true." It's assumed that the use of Mama Mia here is another wording for 'Hot Diggity!' rather than being an ode to maternal respect.

Turn Me On has a guest appearance by Maddzart, whose vocal style is uncannily close to the dancehall toasting of Sean Paul and the difference between him and Lyttle is clear. Out of Maddzart's mouth, the rum lyrics sound convincing but from Lyttle, there's nothing so assured. Had Lyttle kept to a mix of light soul and pop then his debut would have been more successful but, as it is, it's difficult to feel that a bright future lies ahead of him.



out of 10

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