R&B Superstar’s Twenty-Fifth Album Arrives November 2; The Countdown Begins!

Will Downing is bringing NEW MUSIC to fans! Downing outlined the tracklist for his upcoming album, Sophisticated Soul set to release November 2. The R&B artist continues to serve his fan base through his own Sophisticated Soul Record label. Check out the complete tracklist below.

The Sophisticated Soul tracklist includes: 

“Baby I’m Yours”

“Come With Me”

“Let’s Go”

“Love Language”

“Never Wanted Anyone”

“Old School Love”

“Warmth of You”

“When I First Saw You”

The aptly titled Sophisticated Soul is one of those rare glimpses we get at just how talented Will Downing is.

On the outside chance, someone is sadly just joining the party that is the 33-year testament of musical excellence blazed by one of the premiere vocalists of our time, prepare to be officially “initiated.”

Understand first and foremost, Will Downing is THE “Prince of Sophisticated Soul” by these or any other definition of the terms. The proof is in the refined sound, intellectual appeal, and immaterial essence of the man.

What exactly, you might ask, is “Sophisticated Soul”? “Sophisticated Soul” seamlessly weaves past with the present, sexy with classy, R&B with Jazzy and all at once arouses your mind, body, and yes…your soul. It beckons you to listen more closely, feel more deeply and move more passionately. That said, permit me without further ado to present Will Downing’s 25th and most recent claim to his throne, apply titled… Sophisticated Soul!

“I’m so excited to release my 25th studio album,” says Downing. “This album is filled with fresh melodies and lush arrangements that is going to satisfy every musical palate.”

“Baby I’m Yours” is a powerhouse reunion of sorts, as the duo of Downing and long-time writing partner Rex Rideout reunite to recreate that musical magic ever-present in Downing classics from the ’90s and first decade of the millennium. That old black magic still casts a spell in this sweet message of reassurance that opens with a rare spoken rap message from Downing for that insecure romantic partner. Also of note on this well-crafted head-bobber is the addition of the multi-talented Chris Walker joining forces with Downing and LaJuan Carter-Dent on the background vocals, where if you listen closely, Will growls a few Bass-ment notes as if to say “betcha can’t do this young fella”!

The sexual fantasy invitation extended on “Come To Me” comes wrapped in an “Isley-esque” mid-tempo groove complete with lead-vocal overdubs and punctuated with an “Ernie-esque” guitar solo. The spot-on guitar work comes courtesy of co-writer/co-producer Randy Bowland. Any similarity is most certainly a very respectful and intentional nod to the legendary Isley Brothers and their signature 70’s/80’s ballad stylings. However, the resulting sound suggests that “Isley-Downing-Isley” might have to become a thing!

Will Downing is a well-established song interpreter, but this may usher in a new era of “style” interpretation, such as an original Will Downing song done in the style of say…Al Green or Maze…hmmm. Food for thought.

“Let’s Go” is a finger-popping date-night soundtrack and showcase of the immense two-man band potential of Downing and Bowland. There were no creative lanes crossed here whatsoever, as quite appropriately Bowland deftly crafts a lively instrumental bed for Downing’s fun and flirty lead and background vocals to flow over with great compliment to one another.

The tranquil airy space between the soft pulse of percussion and acoustic guitar on “Love Language” paints an almost tropical canvas for the listener to escape to and imagine two people engaged in a sort of sensual telepathy with a gaze or movement replacing a spoken word. A handy skill for sure if you can master it! If you find that the vocal in the background sounds familiar, it’s because it should as it belongs to the one and only “ERRO” Eric Roberson.

“Never Wanted Anyone” should be a go-to track for the shy and introverted. Pour the wine, turn down the lights, hit the “Play” button and let Mr. Downing do the begging for you! My advice is to sit back and let the pros do the work. This is a perfect end-of-evening mood-setter from the very first chord. If all goes well, the magic should be happening right about the time you’re hearing the fleeting flute solo from guest artist Najee filling the air.

Downing and keyboardist Mike Logan, Sr. join forces to create the infectious smooth hand-dance tempo and vibe of “Old School Love”. Perfect for the reunion playlist and the Uncle that swears “you don’t know nothing ‘bout dis here”. True to form to “Old School” and the groups that wrote the original soundtracks for such a love, Downing sneaks some more of that deep doo-wop “Melvin Franklin” notes into the background for authenticity. A nice touch indeed.

Quite possibly the most instantly radio-friendly track on Sophisticated Soul fittingly is the first single “Warmth Of You”. For sure, there’s no better track for introducing this project to the waiting public. That’s not opinion, but a fact backed up by a late August 2021 jump from #16 to #1 on the U.K. Soul Chart Top 30. This is that Armani suit tailored to a tee…that Rolex accurate to the microsecond.

All of the aforementioned and assumed classic Downing production and performance quality gets met and exceeded in fine fashion. If Isley-Downing-Isley never materializes, this Logan-Downing-Logan collab may suffice, as drummer/percussionist Mike Logan, Jr. joins Sr. to lend his talents to both the writing and performance phases.

“When I First Saw You” is a not-so-subtle reminder of what separates Will Downing from just about everyone in the music game today. This track puts the “Sophisticated” in Sophisticated Soul! Many today will associate this song with the movie Dreamgirls from just 15 years ago when in fact it’s from Henry Krieger’s Broadway musical Dreamgirls which debuted 40 years ago. To say the least, this song has been around and performed by many, but NEVER has it sounded like this!

Perhaps lost and largely unappreciated in this era devoid of actual “album covers” full of credits to peruse as you groove, is just how much “Will Downing” goes into a Will Downing song and full project.

Behind the unmistakable velvety baritone and silky falsetto lead and background vocals upfront, driving the ladies wild, is an incredible one-man music factory Writing/Co-Writing, Producing/Co-Producing, Arranging/Co-Arranging virtually every tune. The singer then became Band-leader to bring that same magic to the stage coast-to-coast.

Will Downing also hosts a popular weekly radio show, The Wind Down airing on over 20 stations around the world USA, UK, Japan, and Spain.

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All images provided by Will Downing