When retro trends became all the rage in the pop music world, the industry was only catching up to what guys like Anthony David had been doing for years. Stylistically, Love Out Loud falls in between the singer/songwriter’s acoustic-oriented early work and the more club-influenced styles of his 2011 album As Above So Below.
Unlike some of his peers, David doesn’t embrace the sounds of ’60s soul as mere fashion. Instead he uses the style as an excuse to bring in a band that plays in a wholesome, organic way. It’s a very live-sounding studio album, as the horns, handclaps, and backing choruses share space on “Love Out Loud,” “On My Way to Crazy,” and “So Jaded.” Even when David delves into a sultrier mood on “Sweet Pain” and “Official,” the atmosphere remains natural, even familial. David doesn’t operate in front of his band: what they do, they do together. “Livin’ It Up” shows his ability to seamlessly incorporate Jamaican rhythms into his music.
But the most winning track is “Can’t Look Down,” a surging ode to true love that has none of the affectation or artificial sheen of so many modern pop tunes.
By Howard Dukes