It's real, real... real, REAL... REAL GOOD
Nathan | Charlotte, N.C. United States | 07/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, check it out; Buddy boy had RANGE more than anything. This man's voice was/is incredible and this album was the ish back in the day! I usedta have it on cassette, but I came across the CD in the store the other day and decided my collection was really incomplete without it (course I say that 'bout everything I come across; will any music fan's collection ever be complete?). I agree with the reviewers who commented that he was definitely entrenched in that New Jack Swing sound at this time, but let's lose the trendy sub-labels for a quick second while you're with me, Mr. Non-conformist an' all, an' say that this is jus' some good R&B music; its priceless, they don't make 'em like this anymore. Nothin' overtly-offensive, jus' good lovin' music. The Levert-penned 'I Wanna Come Back' is classic, but the one that brings back the memories for me is 'So Fine' ("Girl ya so fiiiiyyyene, hardta believe it, so fiiiyyyene, I'm feelin' it constantly on my miiyyyynd"). Boy, that hook alone reminds me of them days. He flexes it fa'real on 'Baby Be Mine' though; I'm talkin' incredible vocals. Had I been older at the time, this woulda been the soundtrack for some serious mackin'. The "real soft" side is definitely the superior side for me, and for one reason: 'I Don't Have the Heart'. This one'a them joints that I have to listen to alone to avoid embarrassment and blows to my manhood cause'a how it moves me. It may seem syrupy to some (an' were one'a these young cats nowadays singin' it might be), but the power is in James' vocals; he pours it on, an' that obligatory '80s-soundin' guitar section at the end only enhances it to me. Album closes perfectly too; a moving rendition of 'Someday We'll All Be Free', (even thrown' in that line at the end 'bout South Africa makin' it even more timely) an' 'When was the Last Time Music Made You Cry'; this joint is straight BUTTA an' almost hypnotic, my only complaint is that it ends too soon. I would've liked to have heard him really bring that one crashing down. But, hey, what do I know? This is one'a them great forgotten albums that get lost in the shuffle because'a the sheer size of a category of music like R&B. Do some revisiting. I encourage you."
Excellent album from James!
Preston | nc | 10/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think that James Ingram made a superb album in It's Real. It took 17 months after it's release until James had his only No. 1 pop hit, "I Don't Have The Heart." I still hear that song a lot today. The rest of the album is very good. James can sure be getting onto that new jack swing sound on It's Real and I Wanna Come Back. I love his version of Aretha Franklin's song with a male take of Natural Woman called "Natural Man." He was good on the songs he did with Gerald Levert and some other producers. This ranks right up there with his best albums!"