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"I think this album is gonna surprise a lot of people," says R&B artist Dave Hollister about his third solo effort and first for Motown Records. "Basically, it's a little lighter and more positive about relationships,he explains.But there's still the problems that relationships go through. I'm talking about the good times and some of the bad times, but it's on a more positive note." Hollister offers up several heartfelt paeans to love ("Baby Do Those Things," "My Everything"), as well as seductive takes on the power of attraction ("It's Okay," "One Addiction") and the power of love ("We Gonna Make It"). Hollister demonstrates an insightful perspective on life and love. It's basically a more upbeat Dave Hollister--not only in his attitude toward life and love, but also in the grooves. "I got a lot of tempo on this record," says Hollister, something that helps give Things In The Game Done Changed a welcome variety of moods. Summing up his feelings on the new album, Hollister offers: "I'm really proud of this record, cause it shows a more mature side of me. I'm still focused on keeping my core audience but I'm also doing music that the kids can relate to as well."
Mike Butler; Angelo Quaglia; Scott Kieklak; Andy Blakelock; Mark Dubuclet; Big Joe; Blake English
Number of Discs
61m : 3s
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Dave Hollister (vocals); Az (rap vocals); Gerald Haddon (various instruments, programming); Sean Carrington, Bob Robinson, Erick Walls (guitar); Sprague Williams (talk box); Donald Hayes (saxophone); Will E. Miller (trumpet); Steve Baxter (trombone); Robert Smith (Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards, programming); Michael Bereal (organ); Dave Young (background vocals).
Producers include: Tank, Robert "Big Bert" Smith, Allen "Allstar" Gordon, Bryan Michael Cox, Gerald Haddon.
Principally recorded at The Record Plant, Clockwork, Los Angeles, California; Head Up, Oakland, New Jersey; Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, Florida.
Personnel: Dave Hollister (vocals); Bob Robinson (guitar); Wil Miller (trumpet); Michael Bereal (organ); Sprague Williams (talk box); Gerald Haddon (programming); Dave Young Orchestra (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Dexter Simmons; Andy Blakelock; Allen Gordon, Jr.; Mike T.; Serban Ghenea.
Recording information: Clockworks Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Head Up Recording, Oakland, NJ; The Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, FL; The Power Plant Studios, NJ; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Christian Lantry.
With THINGS IN THE GAME DONE CHANGED, former Blackstreet crooner Dave Hollister picks up neatly where his previous recording, asdfasdf left off. That record was specifically a concept album. While there's not as concrete a theme connecting the songs here, there does seem to be a thread flowing through them all. He follows through on his previous stylistic bent as well, as his emotive brand of contemporary R&B continues to be shot through with touches or hip-hop (the estimable Az is a guest rapper here). While the production is consistently first rate on both the slow jams and the more percolating numbers, its Hollister's pliant, often sensual voice that is the key player in this sonic drama.
Vibe (10/02, pp.177-8) - 3 1/2 out of 5 - "...A sonic novella with every song moving the plot forward toward resolution...the perfect template for showing off Hollister's amazing dexterity..."
Born and raised in the Windy City, Dave Hollister began his musical training at an early age. With both of his parents preachers (he was one of 12 children), Hollister cut his teeth playing organ and drums and singing in the church choir. It wasn't long before a Chicago-area group doing commercial jingle work took notice of the young teen's skills, and Hollister was soon plying his wares at clubs as the group's underage vocalist. Later he became a member of the Chi-Boys, which garnered some local action, and even spent some time with R. Kelly in an R&B outfit called MGM. Citing such vocal influences as Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and Sam Cooke, Hollister used the valuable training he received in church to his advantage, eventually landing background singing gigs with a who's who of gospel's elite, including Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Daryl Coley and Yolanda Adams. Eager to advance his career to the next level and tired of being pigeonholed by shortsighted A&R executives, Hollister moved his base of operations to the Big Apple. Hollister continued to make career inroads, working with such artists as Mary J. Blige and Usher, and also appearing on several soundtracks, including The Perfect Model and Boyz N The Hood. But the hookup that would launch his career was when he crossed paths with producer Teddy Riley and joined him in a new group venture, Blackstreet. The quartet released its promising self-titled debut in 1994, but Hollister soon left, bolting from the restrictive confines of the group setting. After releasing the soundtrack cut "Weekend" in 1998, Hollister began his first solo effort, Ghetto Hymns, released through DeSquad/DreamWorks. Featuring contributions from a variety of guest artists (including Redman). The album showcased a distinctly hard-edged view of urban romance and all of its pitfalls. To ensure that he avoided the dreaded sophomore jinx, Hollister enlisted a solid group of collaborators to help him craft his all-important follow-up, including, Mike City, Tim Kelley and Bob Robinson. Hollister once again moved his base of operations, Goodfellas Entertainment, this time he joined forces with legendary label Motown Records. Clearly excited by the association, Hollister says "I try to grow from one album to the next, I don't really think about the last project that I've done once it's over and I've started on a new one, I just focus on what I'm doing at the moment."