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I think this album is gonna surprise a lot of people, says R&B artist Dave Hollister about his third solo effort and first for new label home Motown Records.Basically, it's a little lighter and more positive about relationships,he explains.But there's still the problems that relationships go through. I'm talking about the good times and some of the bad times, but it's on a more positive note than the last couple of records.As proof of the new album's more positive tone, Hollister offers up several heartfelt paeans to love (Baby Do Those Things,My Everything), as well as seductive takes on the power of attraction (It's Okay,One Addiction) and the power of love (We Gonna Make It). As for the other side of the game, Hollister ruminates on love's duality (Love-Hate Relationship), confronts a combative lover (Tell Me Why) and grapples with an emotional tug-of-war (What Should I Say).Hollister admits he had some issues to work through early in his solo career. Consequently, his first solo album, Ghetto Hymns (1999), offered some hard-hitting views of urban romance. However, on the new album -- as he did on his second solo opus, Chicago 85… The Movie (2000) -- Hollister demonstrates a more insightful perspective on life and love. It's basically a more upbeat Dave Hollister - not only in his attitude toward life and love, but also in the grooves.I got a lot of tempo on this record,says Hollister, something that helps give Things In The Game Done Changed a welcome variety of moods. That's gonna make for a nice concert. People don't want to sit there and hear you sing ballads all night.Hollister certainly sounds at home with any style -- whether it's handling the rhythmic melodic twists of the standout mid-tempo track >>It's Okay<< or caressing the slow, tender musings of the ballad >>Baby Do Those Things.<< I just like singing,he admits. It really doesn't matter to me, because I try to get into whatever I'm doing. Though he deftly handles the more kicked-up tempos, his premiere ballad-singing skills are definitely on full display on the new album. On the tracks >>Baby Do Those Things<< and >>I'm Wrong<<. Hollister again proves why he's one of the foremost balladeers in the business.'Baby Do Those Things' is about the little things that your girl or your wife does that turn you on,>>he relates. >>There's a line in there about how you push the hair from off your face, or how you bite your lip when you want me to come have a taste.<< A lover's passionate plea for forgiveness, >>I'm Wrong<< is another standout ballad, and, like the track >>What's A Man To Do,<< presents a powerful case for giving a relationship one more try. >>'It's a song about a guy that's admitting he's wrong,<< says Hollister. >>He's cheated, he's lied and he's wrong and he's sorry about it. It's just one of those songs that you feel as soon as you hear it.<< For the production of his third solo outing, Hollister turned to one of his usual cohorts, Mike City (Brandy, Sunshine Anderson), and a notable lists of contributors, including Tank, Robert >>Big Bert<< Smith (Brandy), Bryan Michael-Cox (Mariah Carey, Jagged Edge), Loren Dawson (Ginuwine), Allen >>Allstar<< Gordon (Joe, SWV), Gerald Haddon (Vanessa Bell Armstrong) and Donnie Scantz (Toni Braxton, Chante Moore). As usual, Hollister worked quickly in the studio. >>It was real easy,<< he says of the sessions for Things In The Game Done Changed. >>It only took us about two months. If you don't think twice about what you do, it's normally better. You don't have time to turn around and change nothing.<< Hollister is clearly excited about joining forces (Goodfellas Entertainment) with a new label -- and one with as storied a past as Motown. The label let us make the record. They trusted our judgement. And we feel comfortable cause they know what they're doing at Motown. They know what they're doing with R&B music. With a Goodfellas Entertainment and Motown collaboration, more uptempo offerings and a new attitude, Hollister is definitely tweaking his winning formula. It's a record that he is proud of, and one that showcases how much Hollister has matured as an artist, a father and a man. >>It has a lot to do with it,<< he says when asked whether domestic life has impacted his art. And the fact that I gotta take responsibility for a lot of the kids. Like on my first record, I had a lot of profanity, but I was mad. But now, I try not to use profanity even in my regular, daily life. Cause, for me, it's not cool. Summing up his feelings on the new album, Hollister offers: >>I'm really proud of this record, cause it shows a more mature side of me. I'm still focused on keeping my core audience but I'm also doing music that the kids can relate to as well.
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