Released: October 30, 2012
Label: Malaco Records
Many of you may know Quinnes ‘Q’ Parker as one fourth of 90s r&b group 112. However, Q has since branched out on his own and is now ready to show the world just what he has to offer as a solo artist. Considerably well packaged and sealed just right, The Manual is more of a reintroduction to music. But has Q delivered a solid record for his awaiting fans and music lovers alike? Unravel the tracks with me:
The Conversation is so emotionally driven that this short but sweet track had me zoning out. It explores the value of commitment in a relationship and just how much he’s willing to do in order to let her feel loved and respected. This is in fact an intro but a soulful one at that. A mood setter for the concept on which the album is built. And hopefully, I won’t be disappointed. Q’s voice is sounding sexier than ever; passionate in his segments, but a bit overpowered by the sultry lady, Crystal Nicole. Nicole is a talented vocalist and songwriter, but instead of being featured, it sounds more like its a track on her album the moment she started to sing.
Show You How pumps up the volume and puts my adrenaline to work. The singer’s smooth in his range at start and takes off the more the track picks up. The song continues from the intro, depicting that it doesn’t matter what he’s going to do his best to give her all the happiness in the world. There are influences of 90s r&b heard in the beat, along with some sexy keys and pulling strings. If the album keeps going the way it is then Q’s about to win me over completely.
“So far so good” is my first reaction once Belongs to You kicks in. I’m loving the old school r&b vibe the artist stuck with in the songs so far, touching back to his roots in the genre. The slow tempo track is groovy, meaningful, and interesting. Not quite the wow factor but entertaining regardless.
The theme is love, and that’s highly emphasized in the first three tracks alone.
All About You sounds similar to the previous, by way of musical composition, but its still worth a listen. Once again, its a soulful number, and the singer blazes through the track with his honey like harmonies. That guitar break is a sexy addition.
That Interlude to YES is very stimulating and I feel it a bit too intense for some, particularly, the modest. While carrying on melodies from All About You, the short clip quickly opens a more intimate door on the record and makes listeners curious about what’s to come in the actual track itself.
Yes truly had me screaming ‘yes’, in my mind of course. The track is hot, and I do mean sizzling hot. Q’s vocals are on point, unreserved and soar higher than ever. The tasty number touches on pleasure in the relation and how two people in love can feel a strong burning desire for each that heats up the bedroom. Like I said, hot.
How I Love You subdued the feelings I developed prior. The track delivers up subtle elements of old school r&b with a modern contemporary sound. While the message is deep and sentimental, it hasn’t made that much of an impression on me. 60 Seconds on the other hand fills me with warmth. Think of a blues cafe mixed with a spoken word lounge, that’s the sensation I had listening to this track. 60 Seconds implores me to soak it in as much as Q pleads with his love interest to give him some time to express his feelings for her. Interpreting further in words is just difficult when the song speaks for itself.
Faith Evans has a voice like rain, pouring down into my soul. Her performance on Two of Us is just yummy. This is the way an r&b duet should sound, flawless. Both compliment each other’s vocals beautifully, and their emotional notes make the track believable.
Cupid has always been one of my favorite 112 songs and I enjoy Q’s acoustic remake very much. Hearing him sing his version so effortlessly reignites the emotions specifically created by the track from the first time I heard it. Not that I feared he would murder the song because that would be silly. This acoustic version is just as thrilling and spine chilling as the original because the artist kept its authenticity alive.
I’m hooked the moment that piano starts playing in Hold Me but my enthusiasm dies down with the long instrumental intro. The track overall didn’t energize the mood and by the end I felt somewhat overwhelmed. I can’t quite put my finger on it but the track sounds a bit restraint compared to what I’ve heard so far. There’s not much vibrancy within the singing, words, or music until the absolute end.
Fortunately, the energy returns in Better. But once more the long intro was an issue. The track has a blend of mid-tempo hip hop with contemporary r&b. While the beat in general sounded acceptable, I adored Q’ subtle yet smooth vocals riding along with the music. Styles P’s rap was tolerable but not entirely necessary because the moment he stopped I forgot there was any rapping whatsoever. Otherwise, it was a satisfactory song with sexy elements.
Once more you can hear the old school r&b heavily influential to the album. Forced My Hand reiterates that fact. This track has the potential to become a single for its substantial strengths. I found the general production of the song is just amazing. The beat is off the hook, the vocals are well coordinated, and the words make sense. This is bound to be on repeat for days to come, as well as Just Us, because after all the analyzing so far, both are the most memorable.
Just Us is soothing, upbeat, club fitting, mainstream ready, incomparable, and ardent. The track’s fun and sexy at the same time, focusing on the enjoyment of being in each other’s company on a night out.
The album closes off on a slow paced and seductive note. Completely is a guitar and bass driven track with fervid singing captivating your hearts. The song’s about the deep connection between two people in love. The words depict the way in which one feeds off of the other’s emotion. Not exactly single worthy but just as significant as the others.
My final verdict on The Manual is that it truly is a guide full of instructions on how to keep love strong through trust, respect, and having fun along the way. It was a solid release where production stands but it wasn’t that memorable. To be honest, I’ll probably listen to a few selective tracks and push the rest aside because while the songs sounded nice, they aren’t what you’d classify as epic or timeless. Ms. EY gives The Manual 7/10, but my final rating is as follows:
01. The Conversation Intro (ft. Crystal Nicole)
02. Show You How
03. Belongs to You
04. All About You
05. Interlude to YES
07. How I Love You
08. 60 Seconds
09. Two of Us (ft. Faith Evans)
10. Cupid (Acoustic remake)
11. Hold Me
12. Better (ft. Styles P)
13. Forced My Hand
14. Just Us
Credit: singersroom + QParkerSings
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