R&B veteran Eric Benét returns with his sixth studio LP “The One,” a follow-up to his 2010 release “Lost in Time.” Over a span of 13 songs, Benét proves why he is one of the best R&B artists out there and that real R&B still exists. From the lyrics to the production, “The One” is a collection of timeless music. There is no question that Benét poured his heart and soul on this album to produce a great product.
Benét starts the album with his second single “Harriett Jones.” Benét tells a story about a man who cheats on his lover. She, Harriet Jones, eventually finds out and leaves him. After self-reflecting and thinking about his relationship, the man begs on his knees for Jones’ forgiveness. “Swing low, sweet Harriett baby won’t you let me come home.” Despite the theme of the song, the mid-tempo track may have you two-stepping.
In “News for You” Benét assures a woman, who hasn’t had much luck with love, that he will be the man to treat her right. “Don’t you worry ‘bout me leaving, ain’t trying to be deceiving. You said I was too good to be true, well I’ve got news for you.” We get to hear Benét’s falsetto vocals in his ad libs on this track. We hear more falsetto notes when Benét sings about “Real Love,” the lead single. He tells his lover that their love is real in a world full of make-believe. I can imagine Benét singing this song to his wife in a romantic setting. It’s certainly a standout track on the album.
“Runnin” is an interesting story. I say it’s a story because Benét tells us a story based off the act of running. Long story short, Benét sings about a single man who always went running to clear his mind and avoid feeling lonely. “I was just running to find something true and I just be running with nothing to prove…” One day during his run around time, he finds a woman who he finds attractive. Fast forward, Benét no longer runs to get away from feeling lonely. He runs to get home to his lover. “Runnin” is definitely my favorite song from the album.
Benét takes an interesting direction on the album in his collaboration with Lil Wayne for “Redbone Girl.” In the semi-controversial song, Benét basically sings about well, a redbone girl. At the beginning of the song, Benét lets women know that he loves all types of women. However, in this case, he’s singing about one particular woman who happens to be a “redbone girl.” Unsurprisingly, Lil Wayne used recycled punch lines in her verse which didn’t really add much to the song.
“Waitin” is a nice song. Benét sings about waiting and winner over a woman’s heart. “I’ve waited for so long, just hoping to see that once something is searched for, that something is me.” Benét recruits Shaggy for his reggae-influenced track “Hope That It’s You.” The song is not bad but it isn’t a standout track. It’s one of those songs you listen to as background noise. In the heartfelt track, “Gonna Be My Girl,” Benét sings about an ex and how he is certain that he will get her back. “The love we had comes once a point in life and I’ll be damned if I just give up,” Benét croons.
Dim the lights and close the door. Benét shows his sexy side in the sexually charged song “Come Together.” He cleverly plays on the word “come.” “Baby let’s come together. Baby, can we come? Baby can we come at the same time?” We all know what Benét means when he’s says come together. Not to mention, the random moans by a Hispanic woman. “Come Together” is another standout track and it’s the perfect song to for a passionate love-making session!
Awkwardly following “Come Together” is Benét’s duet with his daughter India Benét called “Muzik.” Now let me say this, India can sing! She sounds so amazing and should definitely pursue a career in music. Okay, back to the song. I’m not sure how well the song will do if it was released as a single but I think there should at least be a video released for it. Benét slows down the tempo in “Lay It Down” which I didn’t really care much for.
In January 2012, Benét’s wife gave birth to their daughter Lucia. Being the proud father he is, Benét dedicated “Here in My Arms” to Lucia. It’s a beautiful song. “You took your first breath and you took mine away. Heaven and Earth have such wonders to see. The greatest of all is right here with me,” Benét sings. Depending on which version you buy, Benét concludes the album with a bonus track entitled “Come to Me” which features Jewel Anguay. At first, I thought it was Tamia because their voice sounds alike. Anyways, it’s a nice song.
Overall, “The One” was a solid R&B album. It covers a bit of everything: love, heartbreak, celebrating life, and sex! I highly recommend you buy this album if you are a fan of Benét or if you really want to hear real R&B music.
Standout tracks: “Harriet Jones,” “News for You,” “Real Love,” “Runnin,” “Come Together”