Darien Brockington Somebody to Love

After sinking his hooks into numerous Little Brother productions since the group’s breakout LP The Listening, the Justus League’s resident crooner finally looks to extend his shine past a few catchy choruses with his debut set Somebody to Love. As a singer, Darien Brockington is fairly straight ahead R&B — part K.C. Hailey, part Carl Thomas — and the album runs along in pretty much that tradition. What makes this record at all distinctive is the crisp, referential hip-hop production of E. Jones (predominantly), Khrysis and 9th Wonder. The LB producer sets the tone with a tight old school break on "Think It Over,” while Chaundon joins Brockington on "More And More” over Jones’s reworking of Gina Thompson’s "The Things That You Do” remix. Vocally though, the singer does have a distinctive voice and delivery that’s good in small doses, for most of this record Brockington fails to do anything incredibly distinctive with them — which, when given his chosen genre, isn’t terrible surprising. Unfortunately, it means that the repetitive vocal inflections and limited approaches to romantic expression that comprise this disc wear thin rather quickly, despite Darien’s obvious abilities. ( (ABB)