It’s been a while since we heard from Tevin Campbell; seventeen years, in fact. While he has made appearances here and there that have blown live audiences away, his recorded discography hasn’t seen an entry since 1999.
Things might be changing as he has released his first, non-cover single in years in Safer On The Ground. While he has the color of age on his voice, Campbell sounds almost exactly the same as he did as a young man singing Always In My Heart. He is the essential element that makes this song work. His expressive vocals sell the premise of the track; someone who’s still in love with the person who hurt them but knows that they are better of without them.
The lyrics are great and have enough a good balance of metaphor and prose. The only downside of this track is the generic pop-guitar ballad production that had us thinking that he had sampled Irreplaceable. That’s not the case, but it is something will catch a few ears (probably more now that we brought it up…sorry). It’s still worth checking out, though; if only to hear those vocals.
Sidenote: Interesting fact given the circumstances, Tevin Campbell’s second solo single, Round and Round, while appearing on his 1991 album T.E.V.I.N. as a remix, was actually on Prince’s Graffiti Bridge soundtrack album a full year earlier and was written and produced by the now departed singer. He also provided the backing vocals.