Capitol Records recording artist Javier is set to release his new album, Left of Center, on March 7th, 2006.
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With the release of his self-titled debut in 2003, newcomer Javier proved himself a welcome addition to the canon of intriguing R&B singers. Indeed, not since Babyface has there been an artist who could write and sing beautifully crafted songs as well as throw down with an acoustic guitar and do it all with such pureness. "I like to be versatile with the styles of music I do but I try to keep it true to the genre while stretching it at the same time. A lot of record companies don't allow an artist to have that kind of creative freedom, so I consider myself one of the lucky ones."
On Javier's latest opus, the stunning Left of Center, the Connecticut native brings even more talent to the table. Embracing diverse musical palettes that include splashes of R&B, hip-hop, rock, pop balladry and straight-up soul, Left of Center is an engaging project that should even have naysayers praising Javier's name. "Besides me being left handed," he laughs, "the title Left of Center is just my way of saying to the listeners, 'This album has a slightly different feel than what you might find on some other traditional R&B albums.'"
From the funky first track "You're the One" to the gospel soar of "Answer is Yes," Javier's love for music is engrained in the grooves. "I wrote "You're the One" with producers Ivan & Carvin" (who also collaborated on three other songs on Left of Center), Javier says. "I really wanted to open the new album with something that catches your ear." Utilizing a funky Meters sample that will cause immediate head nodding and booty shaking, Javier sounds like a ladies man with a conscious.
The alluring track "Dance for Me," with its melodic Spanish guitar (which Javier plays himself) is an enchanting song about a slow dancing earth angel and her admirer. Javier's lyrics bring to mind vivid images from a romantic movie, as he focuses his affection on this exotic beauty. There is also a reggaeton remix of "Dance for Me" produced by Rudy "Mayru" Maya hidden somewhere on the new album.
Another stand-out is the Ivan & Carvin constructed "Poetry." With a dark guitar-line reminiscent of classic Ernie Isley, the lush "Poetry" is a tribute to a beautiful woman - as Javier swoons, "Your body stimulates my mind." "I think R&B had kind of lost its way for a minute," Javier says. "For me, artists like Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Brian McKnight and Babyface are the standard. But, more recently, Anthony Hamilton, Alicia Keys and John Legend are also bringing a realness back to R&B/Soul music."
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"Count on Me," which Javier wrote with his friend Anthony Hamilton, proves just how dependable our man Javier can be. Through thick, thin and winter winds, nothing can keep him from his woman. "Anthony is such an amazing artist and just a great person. I got to do some touring with him last year and watching him on stage was always inspiring."
On the first single, "Indecent Proposal," you can't help but fall in love with the art of seduction that Javier displays. Like a forbidden dance under a crimson light, the soulful candor of the lyrics are irresistible. Unlike other soul singers, Javier doesn't come across as a just another brother chasing tail, but as this song proves, he ain't no slouch either.
A musical prodigy in his formative years, Javier's musical gifts took him to the University of Hartford 's Hartt School of Music, where he founded an R&B based acappella quintet that performed at Harlem 's legendary Apollo Theater. Javier graduated from Hartt with a degree in Music Education, and soon afterwards he started on his path as a world-class performer as the lead singer for a neo-funk group (called EmCQ) dedicated to the legacy of Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Maceo Parker and Tower of Power among others. "Being in that band really helped me grow vocally. I had never actually fronted a band or done anything like that before. I found another gear that I could kick into that I didn't know I had," he says.
When that band opened for neo-funk luminaries Soulive, Javier's performance drew the attention of Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno, who recommended Javier to be the lead singer for jam-band heroes the Derek Trucks Band, led by Allman Brothers guitarist Derek Trucks. Javier spent almost 2 years touring with Trucks, exploring onstage everything from rock and soul to blues, jazz and beyond.
But while he found the experience illuminating, ultimately Javier had to go it alone. A subsequent three-song solo demo started a bidding war, landing him with Capitol Records.
"When I started working on Left of Center, I was just really excited to get back in the studio and put some of the ideas I had in my head down," Javier recalls. "As time went by, I would go from studio to studio recording song after song. By the time we were done, I had about 38 songs to choose from. If I had my way, there would have been 20 songs on this album but you can't always get what you want I guess" he laughs.
After one listen to Javier's pureness on Left of Center, you too will feel the love. [url=http://www.javieronline.com]www.javieronline.com[/url]
Javier's "Indecent Proposal" audio (windows media):