Sure, I had the same reaction everyone else had when the news was make public of a Kiefer Sutherland–ahem, K. Sutherland–R&B album in works for his Ironworks record label. I myself pondered on what the album would sound like. Would it be a tounge-in-cheek affair? Was he even being serious about the R&B part? Was he being serious?
Luckily, he was. And unlike most actor-forays-into-music records, this album shockingly delivers.
Although it’s a bit jarring to hear Jack Bauer singing velvety slow-jams, like “I Need U To Be Mine” that sounds like a cross between Usher’s “U Got It Bad” and George Michael’s 80’s hit, “Careless Whisper,” somehow it all makes sense. Even more jarring are the songs with the less-than-subtle innuendos. For example, in “After The Sunrise,” which recalls Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones,” Sutherland narrates an especially steamy morning, brewing his lover coffee and offering to be “on the bottom.” There are even songs made for the dancefloor, like “Havin’ Sex In The Bathroom” which bites its melody from Carl Carlton’s “She’s A Bad Mamma Jamma” and just may be this year’s summer jam.
Then, before he starts repeating himself, the guest stars come in. Jadakiss breaks out a rapid flow on the Swizz Beatz-produced “Night Drive” and American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino trades come-ons with Sutherland on "Heart 2 Heart". T-Pain even drops in on the party, letting Sutherland borrow his vocoder on “Electric Love," a fun track about those "dirty, freaky, sexy webcam girls.”
Be warned: this is not the same man you watch on the tension-filled 24 every week. This is a smooth, confident, soulful singer that never ceases to amaze on this album. In fact, My Obsession just may possibly the best R&B album of the year so far. Usher, take some notes.