Format: CD
Label: Umgd/Geffen
Catalog: 100102
Rel. Date: 11/11/2003
UPC: 600445050068

Real Talk
Artist: D.O.U
Format: CD
Used: Available

Formats and Editions


Dave Hollister is the real thing. His unflagging authenticity, in fact, has been one of his main themes. He called his influential 1999 solo debut Ghetto Hymns, and on Real Talk he promises at all costs to "stay the same," which worked out all right for Lightnin' Hopkins and Too Short, I suppose. If you don't sense Hollister's old-school purity right away, wait a minute. He'll remind you, maybe with the nostalgic words to "Good Old Ghetto," more likely with the commanding way he sings them-the supple phrasing, the muscular romanticism, the ooh-yeah! high notes.

Raised with 11 siblings on Chicago's West Side, Hollister's a spiritual descendent of Donny Hathaway and the actual son of a preacher man. He honed his gutsy tenor in the church, and he's still hanging out in the narthex, drinking coffee, and thinking moderately impure thoughts. But unlike fellow Chicagoan R. Kelly, who gets ripped off a few times here, Hollister's thinking dirty about grown women. This is music for adults, for husbands and wives and the people with whom they cheat. Hollister sings about domestic squabbles and overdue bills, and like Neil Young or your mom after a ten-hour workday, he has no use for a tempo that's in a hurry to get out of the La-Z-Boy.

When everything clicks, when Hollister gets a big-shouldered bassline and a tune worthy of his voice, we get A1 meat and potatoes. Too often, though, Hollister is saddled with undistinguished melodies or lyrics that seem lifted from a bad movie script (a particularly ungainly example: "One thing I can't do is get in another relationship at this point"). One great voice, four albums, and still no start-to-finish winner. Pray-really, get on your knees if you have to-for a greatest hits album.


back to top