After spending the last three years of his career traveling to towns big and small, meeting with and performing for people of all sorts, Carl Thomas has taken some profound social notes. "In the years since my last album, Emotional, there's been a lot of serious things happening in the world and I don't think people feel as safe as they once did," the R&B singer postulates. "People have lost a sense of security. So what I'm trying to do is get back to the business of feel good music." But by "feel good," Carl means to strike people much deeper than merely on the surface; no, what the passionate crooner seeks to do this time with his new Bad Boy Records CD, Let's Talk About It is massage souls. He believes that music, like the variety of sultry and surprisingly upbeat soul found on Let's Talk About It, will serve to free folk from the weight of anxiety and tension they face.
Undoubtedly, many real Carl Thomas fans may find themselves doing just that, once they embrace the understanding passion of "Make It Alright" or the gentle, acoustic guitar glide of "Let Me Know." Unlike the last go round, Carl has been able to put his production talent to work on Let's Talk About It, the results are nothing short of magnetic. And his honesty as a songwriter who focuses on themes of love is transformative. "We all have a higher and lower nature. And so I'm trying with this music to reflect my higher. I'm not going to pretend that I've only sat on one side of the fence."
This time there is such a personal effect from Carl's songwriting and production that a few listens draw one in so close you feel as though you can reach out and touch him. Along with members of his newly founded production team Thom Tunes, (Elijah "Veto" Harris & Milton Thornton), Carl produced and co-wrote half of the CD including the sensual "Baby Maker" and "Dreamer," a pretty self-reflection filled with poetry. I used to love to dream out loud/stand in the middle of an open crowd/ and everybody would see me/ but I was just a little project child? Let's Talk About It also includes production by The Hit Men (P. Diddy, Mario "Yellow Man" Winans & Deric "D-Dot" Angeletti) and Mike City.
Until this song, it was hard to imagine Carl as the Chicago-born man-child destined to reshape R&B, but this kind of writing proves his depth and colorful vision. "These songs were the ones I just had to get off my chest," Carl acknowledges. "And it was really very different to take complete responsibility of them. It wasn't just about going into a booth. I had to nurture these."
In fact, nurturing is second nature to Carl who now has a 4-year-old son. And it is this passionate relationship with his child that has propelled his music to even greater heights. Carl has always been a thoughtful musician, yet fatherhood has sparked even deeper feelings, thoughts that have forced him to challenge the urban music status quo.