By all accounts, Gerald Levert was extremely excited about "In My Songs," the studio album he wrapped just prior to his death of a heart attack last Nov. 10.
By all accounts, Gerald Levert was extremely excited about "In My Songs," the studio album he wrapped just prior to his death of a heart attack last Nov. 10. As previously reported, the Atlantic Records album arrives Feb. 13.
Making the transition from his previous project, 2004's socially conscious "Do I Speak for the World?," Levert refocused on his R&B legacy. "He was excited because he felt this album was something special," Warner Music Group executive VP Kevin Liles tells Billboard. "He told me, 'I want to make sure I deliver, Kev. I'm not an old guy; I'm only 39 and have this voice.'"
The album is also about Levert's arrival at a personal crossroads before his untimely death. That especially comes across on the lead single/title track, a ballad juxtaposes his love of music with love of a special someone.
"Gerald always made personal albums that have been about his experiences," Liles says. "But with this album, I think he really became vulnerable. On 'Songs,' you can tell he missed being loved. Everyone knows his passion for music, but something else was missing in his life. I think this album was therapy for him."
Describing "In My Songs" as a classic R&B album with a perfect mixture of heartfelt feeling and emotion, Levert's manager, Leonard Brooks, says it underscores the singer's his creative and energetic force.
"This album tells you where he was in his life," Brooks says. "He was 40, 22 years in the business, and still working very hard. It's going to be difficult putting this album out with him not here. But it doesn't stop, and he wouldn't have wanted it to stop."