LOVE STORIES, the eagerly-awaited sophomore album by award-winning songwriter, producer and artist Gordon Chambers is reminiscent of the joyful music heard in the '70s by artists like Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire. Chambers declares, "A lot of that music was happy-sounding and fun, orchestral but with a beat. As this album evolved, I found we were recording more material with a tempo. That wasn't something I planned, but I'd like to think that LOVE STORIES is in that tradition of the classic soul music of the '70s with a fresh, cutting-edge feel."
Like many of the great works of that era, the original compositions on Chambers' follow-up to his critically-acclaimed self-titled 2005 debut consist of full-on stories in song or musical vignettes. "Every song on the album is a love story," says the accomplished music man, whose catalog of credits includes hits with Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Yolanda Adams, Patti Labelle and The Isley Brothers (2006's R & B chartopper, "Just Came Here To Chill"). "Some are personal but mostly, they're not. I'd like to think that, as a listener, wherever you are in your journey of love, there's something here for you."
From the celebratory opening cut, "The Next Time" to the wistful yearning of "To Love Again" (a memorable duet with soul stylist Ledisi), through the beautifully-orchestrated "Violins," LOVE STORIES fulfills on Chambers' creative vision. "Honestly, I was thinking of doing a live album as the follow-up to my first CD," says Chambers, who spent much of 2005 and 2006 touring and performing, introducing audiences eager to hear soul music, 21st century-style. "Wherever I would go, I'd be asked 'when are you coming out with new music?' by people who bought the first album. It was their encouragement that had me look at songs I'd recorded for the first CD that we didn't finish, as well as others I had recorded since then. I found I had enough to start out this second record..."
With a focus on upbeat songs that allow Chambers to emphasize the energy and dynamism audiences have come to expect from his live shows, LOVE STORIES exudes a certain joy and sense of celebration: "Get To Know," co-written and produced by Barry Eastmond (with whom Chambers collaborated on the Grammy-winning "I Apologize" for Anita Baker) is a 'stepper's delight'; "Stay Together," a rendition of a song recorded in recent years by The Temptations; and the pop-flavored "Unfair" (co-produced with top Swedish hitmaker Arnthor Birgisson), are prime examples. Not that the album is bereft of the kind of great love ballads for which Chambers has built a reputation as an established songwriter: try "By My Side," the inspirational "Still Blessing Me" (featuring Melonie