First Look: Carl Thomas is Back with “Conquer” | Official Tracklisting

I am back!” declares the Grammy® nominated, platinum-selling R&B artist Carl Thomas. After a brief personal hiatus, Thomas returned to the studio armed with an arsenal of hit songs, award-winning producers and a triumphant spirit to deliver his highly anticipated new album appropriately titled Conquer, set for release on Verve Forecast, December 6, 2011. And his smoldering lead single, “Don’t Kiss Me” produced by Rico Love (Usher, Beyoncé), a modern-day ode to the oldie R&B track with Thomas’ signature vocal styling-with a reminiscent touch of Al Green and Marvin Gaye for good measure.  

A lot has happened since Carl Thomas’ debut album Emotional climbed the charts to become an instant R&B classic. After the tragic murder of his brother in 2004 on the eve of the release of Thomas’ sophomore album Let’s Talk About It, a devastated Thomas put writing and recording on pause and went abroad to escape the pain from his shocking loss. With frequent international travels and remaining incognito in the States, Thomas embarked on a personal journey of recovery.

Still grieving the loss of his brother, Thomas was invited to the studio to record for “fun” resulting in 2007’s So Much Better. “That not only gave me legs to stand on again,” Thomas recalls, “but it showed me that I was supposed to be standing.” And even as an independent release, So Much Better hit the Top 50 on the Billboard 200 chart:  A cathartic process serving to ease Thomas back into writing and recording with a whole new outlook, paving the way for Conquer.

Realizing music’s healing qualities, Thomas triumphantly returns with Conquer, his first studio album in four years. Not wishing to travel the same, traditional R&B course, Thomas carves out his own melodious niche. Conquer showcases his growth as an artist and songwriter with songs bursting with lush orchestrations and entrancing chords, all weaved together with his timeless vocal style. The core of Conquer is comparable to Coldplay’s soulful sparseness. It’s the spirited pop of Maroon Five on a hot Harlem night. It’s Sting meets Lamont Dozier.

For the recording of Conquer, Thomas enlisted some of today’s top producers, including Andre Harris (formerly of multi-platinum production duo Dre & Vidal) who produced the smooth and seductive title track which opens with a quiet tempest of strings-the kind you hear during a pivotal scene of a spaghetti Western-and “Round 2,” about his request to repeat an intimate encounter with a beautiful woman to jar his memory.  Conquer continues with the Rex Rideout-(Ledisi) produced “It Is What It Is” which was written by hip-hop legend Heavy D and showcases Thomas’ effortless ability to ride rhythms and skillfully ad-lib all at once; the romantic wedding ballad “I Do” which was written by Thomas and produced by The Internz (Justin Bieber) conveys the groom’s point of view as he watches his gorgeous bride walk down the aisle; and the Mario Winans-produced “It Ain’t Fair” whose production style works in perfect tandem with Thomas’ subtle yet urgent delivery as he continues his grown-man flirts and adulation of a angelically beautiful woman.

Once a protégé of music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs (who signed Carl Thomas after hearing him sing at an open mic night in New York in the mid ’90s), the Chicago native was the first heartthrob R&B songster on Bad Boy Entertainment. After a string of recordings with other Bad Boy artists such as Notorious B.I.G., Black Rob and Mase, Thomas finally got his chance and released his full-length debut album, Emotional, in April 2000 that reached No. 2 on the R&B chart, Top 20 on the Billboard 200 and sold nearly two million copies- with the single “I Wish” hitting No. 1 on the R&B Singles chart. His follow-up, 2004’s Let’s Talk About It, hit No. 2 on the R&B chart and No. 4 on the Billboard 200.  And in 2006, Thomas earned a Grammy® Award nomination for “Everyday (Family Reunion),” along with Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams and the late Gerald Levert, for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals.

Jay-Z described “I Wish” as “one of the best foundations an R&B artist could ever ask for.” Today, with the release of Conquer, Carl Thomas continues to majestically build on that foundation.

Additionally, New York press days including exclusive album listening sessions are schedule to take place at the Verve Forecast offices in October.  Specific press times will scheduled per request and listening session days and times will be made available as scheduled.

Follow Carl Thomas on Twitter@Mr_Carl_Thomas

First Look: Official Tracklisting!
Night Is Yours
Conquer
Round 2
Not The Same
Don’t Kiss Me
It Is What It Is
It Ain’t Fair
Sweet Love
Running
I Do

In Stores & iTunes on December 6th!


Music by Singersroom.com | More on Carl Thomas

More on “Conquer”

Conquer, his first album in 4 years, is bursting with lush orchestrations and entrancing chords. The core of Conquer is comparable to Coldplay’s soulful sparseness. It’s the spirited pop of Maroon Five on a hot Harlem night. It’s Sting meets Lamont Dozier. Not wishing to travel the same, traditional R&B course, Thomas has carved his own melodious niche. “As a songwriter, I hear songs and say, ‘Man, I wish I had written that record.’ There are types of records that have eluded me most of my career. Those are the records that I managed to find for Conquer.”

The title track, produced by Andre Harris (formerly of multi-platinum production duo Dre & Vidal), opens with a quiet tempest of strings-the kind you hear during a pivotal scene of a spaghetti Western, where the hero faces danger or, even worse, doom. Carl Thomas has his own particular brand of hero music. “The heroes always seem to lose at the end of most R&B songs. On Conquer, the hero always wins!” he says. On the title track Thomas sings, “Let me save you/I love you so much/Let me conquer you.” Amidst all of the dismissive fare disguising itself as romance nowadays, Thomas turns the tables. He’s a man sincere and decisive in his declaration of love.

“Round 2,” also produced by Harris, finds our hero awakening from a night spent with a beautiful woman, and while the details of their previous passion are murky, he knows he wants it again. “Last night we went hard/look what we did baby/bring your body back around, the time is right now,” he coos in his familiar falsetto over a deep and sexy bass thump. The smoldering lead single “Don’t Kiss Me,” produced by Rico Love (Usher, Beyoncé), is a modern-day ode to the oldie R&B track offering Thomas’ signature vocal styling with a reminiscent touch of Al Green and Marvin Gaye for good measure. “It Ain’t Fair” reunites Thomas with Emotional collaborator Mario Winans; he continues his grown man and flirts with adulation, singing “She’s so perfect/flawless/gorgeous/so much it ain’t fair.” Winans’ magnetic, music works in perfect tandem with Thomas’ subtle yet urgent delivery. Thomas’ vocals are still his strongest calling card. “Running,” an all-or-nothing ultimatum and invite to love for life written and produced by award-winning producer Blac Elvis (Beyonce/Fergie) and “It Is What It Is,” a caught-in-the middle, cautionary tale written by hip-hop legend Heavy D and Mike Winans and produced by Rex Rideout (Ledisi), showcase his effortless ability to ride rhythms and skillfully ad-lib all at once.

“I Do,” written by Thomas and produced by The Internz (Justin Bieber), may well become another classic. Stunningly pared down, this wedding song conveys the groom’s point of view as he watches his gorgeous bride walk down the aisle. “I can’t wait to call you by your new last name/I can’t wait to stare at our future in your eyes/And leave the past behind,” he sings.

While he wants to make timeless and genre-pushing music, his mission this time is even grander in scope. “I am supposed to help and inspire someone coming after me. The word “conquer” is an admittance that you’ve won. With the battles in my life over the past several years, I definitely consider myself victorious.”

4 Comments
  1. exstreamly good to see him back. hes sounding so good still i really like dont kiss me.i love all of his cds so i know hes not going to disappoint.

  2. MR CARL THOMAS ALWAYS GETS AIRPLAY IN DIS HOUSE. I THOUGHT HE FEL OFF THE FACE OF DA EARTH GLAD TO SEE HIS SEXY SELF BAAACK!!!!

  3. Emotional is a classic disc , He switch it up by saying you ain’t Right saying all she has to do is cook and clean each is own…. He underrated on this disc . I have Let’s Talk about it had too may interludes All my love should of been a song…. He had LLcool J She is a nice song … Rebond is to medcore for me . He should of sung it in a regular way … Let’s Talk about it stayed away from any other duets which he should to me… I want the disc to be about him like he did on Emotional . Conquer by him been gone so long I want him to stand on his own two feet.. Don’t kiss me is my Jam. I don’t know how his other songs sound , He did make a wedding song I do, I like wedding songs … Conquer is showing his waves. His waves is making him stand out on the cover … He didn’t need the glasses or the coat .. He always been covered, showing mystery to his audience; nothing wrong showing mystery… He need a offical site to cater to his fans, his label putting him out there this time.

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