The latest effort from Eric Benet is titled “Lost in Time,” and we can only imagine that the crooner is alluding to the disappearance of his “sexy.”
The 44-year-old Benet got off to a great start with first single, “Sometimes I Cry,” using his butterscotch vocals to narrate the shaky first steps of life after a break-up. Unfortunately, there’s not much else like it on the disc, heavy with retro soul.
Benet puts his falsetto to work on the saccharin sweet “Always a Reason.” But it, like the album’s title track, has the previously silky R&B singer sounding like the leader of a Temptations cover band. Benet hustles alongside Chrisette Michele on the disco-ready, flute-inflected “Take It.” And he’s outdone by the O’Jay’s Eddie Levert on the cool “Paid,” which has the worldly sophistication and sound of the legendary funk-soul group’s 1972 hit “Backstabbers.” He also has a sweet song with his daughter India on “Summer Love.”
Vocally, Benet still has undeniable chops, and musically, the production is spot-on on “Lost in Time.” But the singer, who was cooing about “Chocolate Legs” just two years ago, has a style and voice that seems better suited — and more believable — set in the present.
CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: The old school vibe is strong, but not overpowering, on the breezy “Stir It Up.”